Skip to comments.Navy may revive 4th Fleet in S. Atlantic, Caribbean
Posted on 01/22/2008 12:50:17 PM PST by BGHater
Strategist says move would show U.S. is committed to Latin America
MIAMI The Navy is considering restoring the 4th Fleet in the Atlantic Ocean, a bureaucratic change that would raise the prominence of Pentagon maritime activities in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made the disclosure during a visit to the Southern Command last week calling it "a great idea" that "as far as I know is moving forward."
The move would bring no new vessels to the region but would put Southcom on par administratively with other Pentagon outposts that have large budgets and bigger muscle. For example, the Central Command operates the Fifth Fleet in the Middle East.
It would also restore an institution that sent U.S. Navy ships into southern waters in search of Nazi U-boats. The Navy created the 4th Fleet in 1943 to hunt submarines in the South Atlantic during World War II.
It was disbanded seven years later with naval operations in the region run from Norfolk, Va.
Still in planning stage At the Pentagon, Navy Cmdr. Jeff Davis said no final decision has been made. Mullen said if such an institution were created, it would be worked out between the Navy's top officer, Adm. Gary Roughead, and Adm. James Stavridis, the Southcom commander, who runs the region's U.S. military operations out of South Florida.
In theory, the 4th Fleet would operate out of Mayport, Fla., now a smaller headquarters for Navy South, which coordinates Navy activities in Latin America and the Caribbean for Southcom. It is run by a one-star officer, Rear Adm. James Stevenson. A 4th Fleet would be run by a two- or three-star admiral, and may need congressional approval.
Davis emphasized that no new vessels and no additional budget would come with the creation of a 4th Fleet.
Instead, warships from various bases would be assigned to sail in the fleet in waters stretching from the Caribbean through Central and South America.
'A bigger profile' Military analysts said the establishment of a 4th Fleet admiral could elevate Southcom's prominence in discussions on where ships are deployed and would surely send a signal to southern neighbors.
"It gives the Navy a bigger profile in the region," said Frank Mora, professor of national security strategy at the National War College in Washington, D.C. "It sends a message to the region that you are important at a time when there is a sense that we don't care."
Moreover, it may also reflect the Navy's increasing commitment to Latin America and the Caribbean at a time when the Pentagon is preoccupied and when ground forces are focused on Middle East operations.
In recent years, the Southern Command has increasingly relied on the Navy for humanitarian operations.
"Symbolism is something that has some currency," Mora said. "It's a way of compensating for limited resources and funds, perhaps lack of focus in Washington or other things."
Mullen, the top U.S. military officer since October, was at Southcom as part of a five-day trip to the region that includes Colombia and El Salvador.
Lookout Hugo. Bwahahahaha.
Another fleet? Well, by God, I love the Navy, but where are the ships coming to come from?
Where would it be based?
Guantanamo bay, that way both Castro and Hugo will sh*t bricks and can share radio and TV time screaming about the Eeeevil Americans.
More of a police force, state of the art frigates, tin cans, associated support vessels, a few attack subs, and most likely the Kitty Hawk will be re-stationed to it, but not sure which other carrier will be assigned.
Phildelphia Naval Ship Yard. Clinton mothballed hundreds of ships their during his reign.
I thought KH was to be retired.
Yep, Kitty Hawk is being retired, no plans to the contrary.
A “Fleet” is an administrative unit, not a set number of ships.
The New Jersey is in Phily. Wisconsin is in Norfolk. Iowa is north of SFCA...
If the money is available, she’ll be retro’d to be in service if needed in the area (cheaper than building new)....looks like some elements may play in the Gulf too as well as the KH. The Navy needs a good training carrier and they are usually older boats but have lots of life left in them.
Why? Are they’re Nazi U-boats down there again?
Headquarters in Mayport. No new ships. They would control present assets operating in their areas
The Kitty Hawk has a one way ticket to the scrap yard.
Where would it be based?
Drive-by posting; didn't read the article?
OK...I was speculating on the KH, however, will there not most likely be a carrier in that area for air patrol, etc. assigned to the 4th? I figured with Pensacola, Jacksonville around, and Charleston, SC close by, they’d have more than enough places to dock a carrier(s). Those ports not big enough for a Nimitz class or only one carrier per port? Just curious. I like the idea of having some more Navy muscle in that area (China sub crap incidents and all)......we need it and seems to be a good area for training.
You think you’re joking...
Why? Are theyre Nazi U-boats down there again?
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I remember a movie, “The Enemy Beneath” if memory serves me right, starring Robert Mitcham, about destroyers and Nazi U-boats in the South Atlantic. I think it must be the only movie ever made about WW2 Naval warfare in that part of the world.
Jacksonville could take any of the carriers with almost no modification needed. Pensacola also used to have a carrier, but more work would probably be needed there. You’d probably have to start from scratch at Charleston. As a practical matter, aircraft based out of Florida and Cuba could probably provide routine air cover for the Carribean, Texas for the western Gulf.
The Pursuit of the Graf Spee, 1956. It is my recollection that one of the British cruisers involved in the battle played itself in the movie.
perhaps this signals a time when a reserve carrier is needed to patrol the area’s of the 4th fleet....perhaps the JFK?
“Another fleet? Well, by God, I love the Navy, but where are the ships coming to come from?”
Yup. The Navy is actually shrinking. Are you telling me we’re gonna canabalize the Atlantic and Pacific fleets with a resurgent Russia and a growing China to be dealt with? Why, so we can take a piss on Hugo Chavez? Come on....
That would be sublime.
“The Enemy Below” benefits from an unconventional performance and writing that makes it stand out from the pack of World War II films produced in the same era.
Robert Mitchum plays the commander of an American destroyer and Curt Jergens as the commander of a German U-boat. They’re stalking each other at sea playing a high stakes game of chess with each man carefully considering each move and countermove. Mitchum’s commander may be a bit layed back compared to some but it’s what keeps his men devoted him to him. Jergens plays his captain as someone who is doing his duty but doesn’t believe in the Nazi cause.
read more here:
HEY HUGO...GET A LOAD OF THIS!
Well, DUH! China, silly!
We “dock” carriers all the time in Mayport, FL. It has been home port for many a fine bird farm including USS Saratoga CVA-60.
No work needed at all Mayport FL has been, is and always will be homeport for US Carriers.
Maybe this link will work, I don’t know...
If it does you will see a Google Earth image
of the Kennedy (CVA/CV-67) docked in Jacksonville.
also, this shot shows 3 unidentified carriers
docked nearly side-by-side up in Norfolk.
In the past, they have always been conventionally powered. Some mods might be necessary to accommodate that. Is the navy making any changes Japan in connection with the change of ships there? At one point it was argued that the nuclear ships would have higher pier side electrical requirements, for example and some changes in maintenance facilities. Don't know if that was true or FUD, but it should give a pretty good picture of what, if anything, would need to be done at Jacksonville.
The navy, up through the commander-in-chief, has foolishly put all of the carrier eggs in one basket in the Atlantic. At least the Pacific fleet are spread out to 3 or 4 different home ports.
I know you’re right but its fun to think of them hammering a coastline somewhere. I’ve kept a scrapbook of stuff on the Iowas. They reach back (concept/drawings) to the 1930s...
Besides, the Gulf is a large place to patrol with regards to the WOT and the WOD and illegal immigration.
I'd just figure Ms. Kitty would have some years left in her.
Those Navy pilots (bless their hearts) could easily get their monthly flight hr requirements in and still keep a serious eye on things.
With our sats, coastal surface radars and their eyes in the sky (especially the P3 crews), would help keep tabs on the bad guys.
Back in the late '70's, got to go out on the Enterprise out of Pensi as a closely chaperoned guest with other civies for an overnight float and watch nighttime flight training ops. Those pilots and deck dudes have kahunas made of elements not found in most men.
I’d like to see those ‘under-development’ super sneaky Navy ships they show on the military channel get honed in harassing the drug runners, etc. running around in the Gulf, Cuba, etc.
Tiger Cruise ?
The Kennedy was the one that was supposed to remain in service until 2017 or so, before its sudden retirement. The Kitty Hawk would have needed a major overhaul to have extended its useful life.
After we started this exchange, it occurred to me that what is really needed for that theater are a couple of light carriers loaded with F-35Bs, a few choppers, and perhaps some modified Bell 609s. Something along the lines of a slightly modified Wasp class. Base one in Florida, one somewhere on the central or western Gulf.
And, of course, I've previously advocated a couple of dozen DE subs with AIP for operations in the Gulf, Carribean, and the Western border areas.
Most folks dont know:
After overhaul at Pearl Harbor, North Carolina rejoined the carriers for a month of air strikes and naval bombardment on the Japanese home islands. Along with guarding the carriers, North Carolina fired on major industrial plants near Tokyo, and her scout plane pilots performed a daring rescue of a downed carrier pilot under heavy fire in Tokyo Bay.
Now proudly resting in Wilmington:
I can remember as a kid (1st grader)in elementary school in Fayetteville, taking my lunch milk money (3 cents a day) and dropping it into a big pickle jar in the cafeteria to help the fund to bring her home and save her from the cutting torches. Then, what else would you expect from a Sargent-Major's son from the 82nd.
Hugo could seriously get a deep clear thought maybe looking at something like this, but those of the IOWA BB's.
It says a lot.
You are correct - more likely to be sunk than actually recycled. The last few attempts to make museums out of large ships didn’t turn out too well, as I recall.
OK, 'Big John' is good with me....I watched Jackie & Caroline christen her live that day on the tube. Cool....I always had a crush on Caroline as a kid...shsssshhhh!!!
I don't like Slick one bit. But he had plenty of GOP help to do this including Poppy Bush/Cheney who initially got the ball rolling on wholesale decomms and six years of a GOP majority in both houses under Clinton. You can thank ones like Sen Warner too. I've done the count before and Poppy cost us about as many as Slick. Also Poppy let a carrier or two go which could have been saved. By let go I mean missing S.L.E.P. a mid life overhaul design to see it through the rest of estimated time in service. AMERICA didn't get one and KENNEDY got a botched job due to a yard closure during overhaul IIRC.
We need more ships and more ship builders. We need at least another carrier builder. Only having one is insane. The idea of increasing our forces in the Caribbean is a good one though. We need to re-open Rosie Roads too. Closure was a big mistake IMO.
I don't know if this still holds true but the Caribbean Basin has always been a traditional work ups location for CV's. Thirty Days down off GITMO for O.R.E. and INSURV etc usually a few months before deployment. I saw that area at sea about as much as VACAPES.