US Navy 2nd Fleet To Challenge Russia’s Northern Fleet In Arctic

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US Navy 2nd Fleet To Challenge Russia’s Northern Fleet In Arctic

NORFOLK (Aug. 24, 2018) Vice Adm. Andrew “Woody” Lewis address guest as he assumes command of U.S. 2nd Fleet aboard the nuclear aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). U.S. 2nd Fleet will exercise operational and administrative authorities over assigned ships, aircraft and landing forces on the East Coast and North Atlantic. U.S. Navy photo Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Gary Prill/Released)

On August 24th, it was announced that the boundaries of the Navy’s reestablished U.S. 2nd Fleet extends well past the old submarine stomping grounds of the Cold War and into waters north of Scandinavia and the Arctic Circle, near the submarine headquarters of Russia’s Northern Fleet, as announced by US Chief of Naval Operations John Richardson.

“A new 2nd Fleet increases our strategic flexibility to respond — from the Eastern Seaboard to the Barents Sea,” Richardson said. “Second Fleet will approach the North Atlantic as one continuous operational space and conduct expeditionary fleet operations where and when needed.”

Richardson and new 2nd Fleet commander Vice Adm. Andrew Lewis reiterated the new placement was a reflection of the National Defense Strategy from Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis. The new strategy signaled a return to “great power competition” with nation-states, rather than the low-intensity ground wars the US has waged since 2001. Effectively, the new Cold War has officially began.

“We will not simply pick up where we left off. We are going to aggressively and quickly rebuild this command into an operational warfighting organization,” Lewis said.

USNI News cited former Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work, who said that the extension of the boundary so close to Russia is in-line with Jim Mattis’s new strategy.

“This truly is about great power competition and demonstrating it to the great powers that we can operate in waters nearby when and where we chose to do so. It’s signaling we’re here. We’re ready to go,” Work said. He further commented that “in China we have a rival that is really has a full-spectrum naval capability. The Russians truly are more of an undersea competitor. The best way to get there is to operate in those grounds close to them and not let them break out into the open ocean.”

USNI News also cited former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe retired Adm. James Stavridis who said that the extension was a result of new realities in dealing with the capabilities of the Russian Navy. “The new battle space for 2nd Fleet reflects two critical elements: The first is Russia’s desire to extend the distance over which its fleet can roam,” Stavridis said. “The second is new long-range attack technologies that allow Russia far greater maritime standoff distance.”

The increased capability and standoff distance the Russians can employ drives an increased focus on the North Atlantic, according to Magnus Nordenman, deputy director of the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council, also cited by USNI News.

The reconstituted 2nd fleet was announced in May 2018, however as reported by USNI News, the notion of increasing focus on the North Atlantic has been developing since the 2014 annexation of Crimea by Russia.

“Russian submarines are prowling the Atlantic, testing our defenses, confronting our command of the seas, and preparing the complex underwater battlespace to give them an edge in any future conflict,” he wrote. “Not only have Russia’s actions and capabilities increased in alarming and confrontational ways, its national-security policy is aimed at challenging the United States and its NATO allies and partners,” said U.S. Naval Forces Europe Adm. James Foggo as early as 2016.

The Kremlin, meanwhile, has been increasing their presence in the Arctic region over the last several years – deploying submarines and other assets on a permanent basis. “In the future, we plan to further increase our presence in the Arctic region [as] a matter of national state security,” Russian Rear Admiral Viktor Kochemazov told Russian newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda in 2017. Kochemazov is the head of the combat training department of the Russian Navy.

Astute News further reported that Moscow has plans to open ten Arctic search-and-rescue stations, 16 deep-water ports, 13 airfields and 10 air defense radar stations across the Arctic.

On August 27th, RT cited Russian analysts, who predict a further escalation in tensions, despite US officials declaring they are not “looing for a fight.”

“This a return to the Cold War, and its marine rivalry. There is nothing good that can come from this, and we can expect the US to start acting more aggressively, particularly around the North Atlantic,” said Igor Korotchenko, editor-in-chief of National Defense magazine. “The overall temperature of the relations between the two states will rise, and the area will become a flashpoint,” said the analyst, noting that Russia’s own northern fleet is its most powerful.

RT also cited Aleksey Leonkov of Homeland Arsenal magazine who says that the US actions are a reactive measure. “NATO has almost no forces in the North Atlantic, because they were not expecting Russia to develop its Arctic fleet and to build on-shore defenses. Together with the growing potential economic importance of the Arctic, this caused genuine alarm in the Pentagon, and this is the response,” he said.

None of the expert cited by RT believed that there is any risk of live confrontations or shows of strength, at least not imminently. This is mostly due to the strategic parity. “As long as Russia remains a nuclear power and maintains strategic parity, nothing is likely to tilt the balance, particularly since it is also developing its own counters,” Korotchenko said.

There has been no official response by Russia as of yet, however on August 6th, the Russian Ministry of Defense released a report from the Army-2018 IMTF in Kronstadt. The Navy presented state-of-the-art armaments, military and special equipment inside the historical city. The Kronstadt water area hosted over 15 warships and auxiliary vessels. Among them there were the newest corvette Sobrazitelny, small missile ship Serpukhov, counter-sabotage boat Nakhimovets, amphibious, patrol and special boats, as well as auxiliary vessels and high-speed boats.

The National Defense Strategy from Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis has, for all intents and purposes, unilaterally began a new Cold War with Russia and quite possibly China.

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  • chris chuba

    I love how this is portrayed in a positive light (in the U.S. MSM) vs the evil expansionism of the Russians. There is no mention that the Russians are opening bases along their northern coast because they straddle almost 50% of the arctic circle, it’s the equivalent of the U.S. opening bases in the Gulf Coast. So why are we sticking our noses there?

    • Nosferatu

      Russia has around 5 foreign bases, US has close to 1000. What are you comparing? Are you even listening to your self? “here is no mention that the Russians are opening bases along their northern coast”. What part of “their northern coast” did you miss in your own statement? Are you saying that Russian expansion on their own territory is ilegal?

      • Carne João Pasta

        I think you may have misunderstood Chris’ comment/sentiment/disgust with the hypocritical Western Hegemon.

        • Nosferatu

          Yes i think i have miseunderstood indeed. Thank you for leting me know. LOL

          • Carne João Pasta

            It happens, esp considering the emotions involved with all of this. It’s so damn heartbreaking already yet amazing to watch unfold, the miracle that is taking place in Syria (and Yemen, despite the bloodshed among civilians), seeing a big shift in the tide (fate) of the dark forces, which have had near full sway over the greater ME and much of the Western world for too long now. I still can’t believe this all has been happening, what to speak of what’s transpired just the past 100+ years (including WW1, Bolshevik Revolution). It’s enough to break many a good man. The men (and women) fighting in Syria (and Yemen, among other places) vs the AZ empire are truly courageous and I almost envy them, as I have warrior blood myself and so wish I could participate in some capacity. They are (and the civilians as well who have done the needful, even with the threat of being killed or worse, and risen up against their oppressors in ISIS, Al-Nusra, et al occupying their home country.) fighting and sacrificing themselves for the greater good of not just their own people, but also all of humanity.

            What other choice do they have? I’d say it is inspiring, but firstly that would be an insult to them, or somehow just strange to say. It is just born of necessity and something I can’t begin to fathom, just what they are having to contend with, ie the threats to their families. This is just ridiculous already, how Western people are so oblivious and apathetic, and worse. Some deluded by propaganda, actually cheer on further death and destruction, of people they don’t know and have no idea the reality they are helping to foster “over there”. Reality is, this won’t be contained to just happening “over there” if they keep this up. Our gov run by these psychopaths wouldn’t hesitate to do the same to us here if they were so inclined, ie desperate, backs against the wall. History shows time and time again how people never thought it would happen to them and yet it had!

            I’ve been meaning to get myself in shape (I’m 39 this October) and should the time ever come for me to fight, I shall be prepared and ready. Over here in the States, we don’t realize what our empire is doing and the reality they have created for so many millions of people, what they have had to endure and are enduring today. We have been removed from that reality, which not too long ago (Vietnam War) we had at least some real connection to the pain and horrors of war. Nobody should have to live like that! I hope and pray (and remain optimistic!) that the empire shall suffer an irreversible and fatal blow (to its hegemony status that is, I don’t wish for any further suffering of anybody.. save for the psychopaths responsible for all of this, today and yesterday, and for what they are planning for the future.) With McCain joining his maker from the dark world, just maybe this is a turning point, what with the momentum the resistence forces, SAA and her allies have gathered this year alone, and an omen of things to come. That many, many more shall join their dark lord in hell where they belong and humanity shall triumph and be released, once and for all! Through the many tears and much sadness, how desperate the situation, how fragile it all is, I just can’t help but feel this eternal hope and optimism within my heart; a yearning for justice and for truth and true peace for all mankind and all of God’s creation (I understand there is always the tug of war, back and forth, positive vs negative, good vs evil, etc such is the nature of this universe, ie duality).

            It’s just this planet deserves some respite from these millenia long suffering and oppression/suppresion. There just can’t be any other reality! This vision shall become reality. To be alive at this time and being able to play a part in this cosmic saga, and communicate with other people around the planet who also share a similar vision, that it is in the works already, set in motion long ago (not a big religious person, and don’t subscribe to the whole end times ideology, but I do feel perhaps there is a spiritual war taking place, absolutely). It is honestly humbling and I feel at a loss in what I can do to help further.

      • putinbeater

        1000

        not 100000?

        better 1000000000

  • AM Hants

    What with? Remember, the results of the USS John McCain and USS Fitgerald collisions? The sailors were not trained to use a pen and compass.

    How many artic friendly ships do the USS actually have, in working order?

    • FlorianGeyer

      It was last year I think when about 600 medium to high ranking US nave officers were either expelled or disciplined for colluding with a foreign company owner who supplied the US navy with non essential goods etc. The officers were illegally giving the businessman Port Visit details that he paid the Officers for :)

    • FlorianGeyer

      I doubt the US sailors could even use a ‘Colouring Book by Numbers’ these days AM :)

  • Nexusfast123

    The more I read about the US military the more idiotic they seem. When was the last time the US navy entered into serious combat – Iran in the 80’s. Ha, ha.

  • Tommy Jensen

    More $billions down the drain of other productive peoples money. Bloodsuckers living their short and parasitic lives doing nothing but spreading cancer and deseases everywhere.

  • Garga

    Russians know that as long as the Americans scavenge their broken medium icebreaker to maintain their only active one (also medium, nowhere near the Russians’), it’s just hot air. Never mind that most of the coastline around arctic is Russian northern shorelines, if evil Russkies are there, we have to not only be there too at all costs, but must make sure turn it into some kind good-vs-evil battle.

    I’m sure their congress will pass a bill or something to give a fat contract to their MIC in order to build a new shiny state-of-the-art arctic fleet with expensive and unproven technologies to confronts “commies” and “godless reds” (old habits die hard) in the frozen parts of the earth as well.

    • FlorianGeyer

      Lets hope for another very cold winter then, Lol.

    • BMWA1

      Maybe 2nd fleet can use Russian breakers for fleet ops on loan???

    • putinbeater

      you dont know, what about are you wrinng. the second fleet ia around iceland. the thruth is, ruskies enhanced their activity by 300% and also chinese submarines occured there. the ligical right answr is to elevate american presence.

  • World_Eye

    Hah got me laughing…

  • Wegan

    Despite all this, Russia and China are still behind in almost all aspects of the war.
    Critical tech is still a monopoly of the west. China and Russia need about 10 year to go toe to toe with the west. They still rely heavily for their components on Germany, Japan, US etc..

    Finance wise it’s not even a contest. They reacted as of late, it will take time before they will be able to do something meaningful.

    One cannot expect centuries of progress to be evenly matched in a 3 decades or less.

    But at least there is hope, they are going in the right direction.

    • HighLord Gaz

      How delusional… a true believer in Western Exceptionalism…. You represent a doomed minority.

      • Tommy Jensen

        Never underestimate your enemy. We have to be realistic.

  • Redadmiral

    OMG this is 1984

  • HighLord Gaz

    Riiiight… and how many icebreakers do the US intend to build and operate to keep open their access to the Russian areas of the Arctic? Typical mindless posturing from an arrogant hubristic Exceptionalist twat….

  • Sinbad2

    The Americans are acting so desperate.

  • Lazy Gamer

    Is the American claim hinged on Alaska? That was a bargain steal!

  • putinbeater

    When was the last time the US navy entered into ‘serious’ naval combat – Iran in the 80’s.

    When was the last time the russian navy entered into ‘serious’ naval combat – chusima in 1905.