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Navy may revive 4th Fleet in S. Atlantic, Caribbean
Houston Chronicle ^ | 19 Jan 2008 | Carol Rosenberg

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.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government
KEYWORDS: 4thfleet; atlantic; caribbean; fleet; fourthfleet; latinamerica; martime; navair; navy; usn
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1 posted on 01/22/2008 12:50:19 PM PST by BGHater
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To: BGHater

Lookout Hugo. Bwahahahaha.


2 posted on 01/22/2008 12:51:03 PM PST by Parley Baer
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To: BGHater

Another fleet? Well, by God, I love the Navy, but where are the ships coming to come from?

Where would it be based?


3 posted on 01/22/2008 12:52:35 PM PST by RexBeach ("Americans never quit." Douglas MacArthur)
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To: RexBeach
Florida and Tierro del Fuego.
4 posted on 01/22/2008 12:55:20 PM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (ENERGY CRISIS made in Washington D. C.)
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To: RexBeach

Guantanamo bay, that way both Castro and Hugo will sh*t bricks and can share radio and TV time screaming about the Eeeevil Americans.


5 posted on 01/22/2008 1:03:06 PM PST by Abathar (Proudly posting without reading the article carefully since 2004)
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To: RexBeach
The ships are mothballed as we type.

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.

6 posted on 01/22/2008 1:03:09 PM PST by RSmithOpt (Liberalism: Highway to Hell)
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To: RexBeach
"Well, by God, I love the Navy, but where are the ships coming to come from"?

Phildelphia Naval Ship Yard. Clinton mothballed hundreds of ships their during his reign.

7 posted on 01/22/2008 1:05:08 PM PST by gitmogrunt
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To: RSmithOpt

I thought KH was to be retired.


8 posted on 01/22/2008 1:05:23 PM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (ENERGY CRISIS made in Washington D. C.)
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To: gitmogrunt
Phildelphia Naval Ship Yard. Clinton mothballed hundreds of ships there during his reign.
9 posted on 01/22/2008 1:06:30 PM PST by gitmogrunt (corrected)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

Yep, Kitty Hawk is being retired, no plans to the contrary.

A “Fleet” is an administrative unit, not a set number of ships.


10 posted on 01/22/2008 1:07:00 PM PST by Strategerist
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To: gitmogrunt

The New Jersey is in Phily. Wisconsin is in Norfolk. Iowa is north of SFCA...


11 posted on 01/22/2008 1:10:07 PM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (ENERGY CRISIS made in Washington D. C.)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

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.


12 posted on 01/22/2008 1:11:16 PM PST by RSmithOpt (Liberalism: Highway to Hell)
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To: BGHater

Why? Are they’re Nazi U-boats down there again?


13 posted on 01/22/2008 1:14:16 PM PST by americanophile
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To: BGHater

Headquarters in Mayport. No new ships. They would control present assets operating in their areas


14 posted on 01/22/2008 1:17:58 PM PST by saltydog11
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To: RSmithOpt
and most likely the Kitty Hawk

The Kitty Hawk has a one way ticket to the scrap yard.

15 posted on 01/22/2008 1:26:47 PM PST by PAR35
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To: RexBeach
Another fleet? Well, by God, I love the Navy, but where are the ships coming to come from?

Where would it be based?

Drive-by posting; didn't read the article?

16 posted on 01/22/2008 1:30:38 PM PST by AFreeBird
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To: PAR35

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.


17 posted on 01/22/2008 1:37:04 PM PST by RSmithOpt (Liberalism: Highway to Hell)
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To: americanophile

You think you’re joking...


18 posted on 01/22/2008 2:09:17 PM PST by Mountain Troll
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To: magslinger

ping


19 posted on 01/22/2008 2:28:21 PM PST by Vroomfondel
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To: americanophile

Why? Are they’re Nazi U-boats down there again?


Well, not exactly Nazi, but close to it.


20 posted on 01/22/2008 2:32:18 PM PST by Repeal The 17th
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To: Vroomfondel; SC Swamp Fox; Fred Hayek; NY Attitude; P3_Acoustic; Bean Counter; investigateworld; ...
SONOBUOY PING!

Click on pic for past Navair pings.

Post or FReepmail me if you wish to be enlisted in or discharged from the Navair Pinglist.
This is a medium to low volume pinglist.

21 posted on 01/22/2008 2:35:46 PM PST by magslinger (cranky right-winger)
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To: BGHater

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.


22 posted on 01/22/2008 2:45:43 PM PST by sasportas
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To: RSmithOpt

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.


23 posted on 01/22/2008 2:53:26 PM PST by PAR35
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To: sasportas
it must be the only movie ever made about WW2 Naval warfare in that part of the world.

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.

24 posted on 01/22/2008 2:58:09 PM PST by PAR35
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To: BGHater

perhaps this signals a time when a reserve carrier is needed to patrol the area’s of the 4th fleet....perhaps the JFK?


25 posted on 01/22/2008 3:12:10 PM PST by joe fonebone (When in danger, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout)
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To: RexBeach

“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....


26 posted on 01/22/2008 5:17:49 PM PST by DesScorp
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

That would be sublime.


27 posted on 01/22/2008 5:20:29 PM PST by redstateconfidential (If you are the smartest person in the room,you are hanging out with the wrong people.)
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To: sasportas

“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:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050356/
-


28 posted on 01/22/2008 5:21:03 PM PST by Repeal The 17th
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To: RexBeach
Ships hell, they send them to sea now with minimum crew strength.
29 posted on 01/22/2008 5:22:58 PM PST by mad_as_he$$ (Stop the unFair Tax now; before it is fair for your neighbor and not you.)
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To: BGHater

HEY HUGO...GET A LOAD OF THIS!


30 posted on 01/22/2008 5:23:54 PM PST by lexington minuteman 1775
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
None of the BBs will come back they take to many men to man them.
31 posted on 01/22/2008 5:24:31 PM PST by mad_as_he$$ (Stop the unFair Tax now; before it is fair for your neighbor and not you.)
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To: RexBeach
Well, by God, I love the Navy, but where are the ships coming to come from?

Well, DUH! China, silly!

32 posted on 01/22/2008 5:25:23 PM PST by null and void (We're tired of being sucked up to once every 4 years and stabbed in the back the rest of the time.)
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To: RSmithOpt

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.


33 posted on 01/22/2008 5:27:48 PM PST by Sunnyflorida (Drill in the Gulf of Mexico/Anwar, etc and we can join OPEC!!! || Fred - "the Best Dick Cheney ever")
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To: PAR35

No work needed at all Mayport FL has been, is and always will be homeport for US Carriers.


34 posted on 01/22/2008 5:29:03 PM PST by Sunnyflorida (Drill in the Gulf of Mexico/Anwar, etc and we can join OPEC!!! || Fred - "the Best Dick Cheney ever")
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To: PAR35

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.
http://maps.pomocnik.com/satellite-maps/?map=1881

also, this shot shows 3 unidentified carriers
docked nearly side-by-side up in Norfolk.
http://maps.pomocnik.com/satellite-maps/?map=99


35 posted on 01/22/2008 5:43:41 PM PST by Repeal The 17th
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To: Sunnyflorida
No work needed at all Mayport FL has been, is and always will be homeport for US Carriers.

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.

36 posted on 01/22/2008 5:44:26 PM PST by PAR35
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To: Repeal The 17th

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.


37 posted on 01/22/2008 5:49:49 PM PST by PAR35
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To: mad_as_he$$

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...


38 posted on 01/22/2008 6:59:55 PM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (ENERGY CRISIS made in Washington D. C.)
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To: PAR35
That's my whole point. We need it down there. Putin and his neighbors aren't exactly doing things to help with their economies when they harass the Brits and us.

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.

39 posted on 01/22/2008 7:22:56 PM PST by RSmithOpt (Liberalism: Highway to Hell)
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To: RSmithOpt

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.


40 posted on 01/22/2008 7:29:10 PM PST by RSmithOpt (Liberalism: Highway to Hell)
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To: RSmithOpt

Tiger Cruise ?


41 posted on 01/22/2008 7:33:46 PM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (ENERGY CRISIS made in Washington D. C.)
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To: PAR35
The Kitty Hawk has a one way ticket to the scrap yard.

Nope. She'll either end up as a museum ship (Wilmington, NC has a group trying to get funding together to bring her there. Major issues exist with Wilmington not being big enough to handle a supercarrier), or get sunk like America was, and Forrestfire, Constellation and Independence are scheduled to be.
42 posted on 01/22/2008 7:45:27 PM PST by tanknetter
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To: joe fonebone
perhaps this signals a time when a reserve carrier is needed to patrol the area’s of the 4th fleet....perhaps the JFK?

JFK's never coming back out of mothballs. The reason she left service "early" (was scheduled to go to Japan as the forward-deployed deck through 2018) was because her flightdeck was so messed up it would have cost too much money to fix and recertify.
43 posted on 01/22/2008 7:48:34 PM PST by tanknetter
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To: RSmithOpt
I'd just figure Ms. Kitty would have some years left in her.

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.

44 posted on 01/22/2008 7:58:26 PM PST by PAR35
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
I'm very proud of this old girl...she served her country well and has the most (15) battle stars of all in her class:

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.

45 posted on 01/22/2008 8:02:01 PM PST by RSmithOpt (Liberalism: Highway to Hell)
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To: tanknetter

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.


46 posted on 01/22/2008 8:02:10 PM PST by PAR35
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To: BGHater
A big deck CVN isn't needed for this kind of patrol work. Much better idea would be to rotate an LHA/LHD or two through the assignment. Harriers and helos, plus the ability to operate all sorts of watercraft from the well deck, should suffice.

Missing element would be organic AEW&C. Given the proximity to CONUS, using land-based E-2s, E-3s or the P-3 AEWs would be a viable option, although the LAMPS radar on the SH-60s might be enough. If a ship-based AEW&C is needed, the USN could adopt the solution used by the RN, Italian and Spanish Navies and put a bagged radar onto some helos.

Then again (and mostly joking here), the USN could always just buy that cute baby Harrier carrier that the Thais had Spain build for them. It was based on the USN's "sea control ship" concept from the 1970s ... ;-)
47 posted on 01/22/2008 8:04:05 PM PST by tanknetter
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To: PAR35
I like your take....after all our souther backside (ocean and land) has been hanging in the breeze for a while now. Though, now way we can ever keep every foot covered, just the fact we're there keeps the bad guys guessing.

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!!!

48 posted on 01/22/2008 8:11:12 PM PST by RSmithOpt (Liberalism: Highway to Hell)
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To: gitmogrunt
Phildelphia Naval Ship Yard. Clinton mothballed hundreds of ships their during his reign

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.

49 posted on 01/22/2008 8:28:33 PM PST by cva66snipe (Proud Partisan Constitution Supporting Conservative to which I make no apologies for nor back down)
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To: tanknetter
A big deck CVN isn't needed for this kind of patrol work. Much better idea would be to rotate an LHA/LHD or two through the assignment. Harriers and helos, plus the ability to operate all sorts of watercraft from the well deck, should suffice.

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.

50 posted on 01/22/2008 8:37:29 PM PST by cva66snipe (Proud Partisan Constitution Supporting Conservative to which I make no apologies for nor back down)
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