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Commander, US Naval Forces Europe (COMUSNAVEUR)
Commander, US Naval Forces Africa (COMUSNAVAF)
Commander in Chief, US Naval Forces Europe (CINCUSNAVEUR)

The Commander, US Naval Forces Europe-Commander, US Naval Forces Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF), previously Commander, US Naval Forces Europe (COMUSNAVEUR), and Commander in Chief, US Naval Forces, Europe (CINCUSNAVEUR), covers an area of responsibility covers approximately half of the Atlantic Ocean, from the North Pole to Antarctica. It also includes the Adriatic, Baltic, Barents, Black, Caspian, Mediterranean and North Seas.

NAVEUR-NAVAF covers all of Russia, Europe and nearly the entire continent of Africa. It encompasses 105 countries with a combined population of more than one billion people and includes a landmass extending more than 14 million square miles. The area of responsibility covers more than 20 million square nautical miles of ocean, touches 3 continents and encompasses more than 67 percent of the Earth's coastline, 30 percent of its landmass, and nearly 40 percent of the world's population.

The Commander in Chief, US Naval Forces, Europe (CINCUSNAVEUR) planned, conducted, and supported, when directed, naval operations in the European theater and Middle East area during peacetime, contingencies, and general war to perform tasks assigned by the Commander in Chief, US European Command.

CINCUSNAVEUR operated under 2 separate operational and administrative chains of command. As the operational Commander in Chief of all US naval forces in Europe, CINCUSNAVEUR was the component Commander of the US Commander in Chief, Europe (USCINCEUR). CINCUSNAVEUR was also the administrative commander in the Department of the Navy chain of command directly responsible to the Chief of Naval Operations for management, logistics and communications support of US Navy assets in Europe. While not a NATO command, CINCUSNAVEUR was responsible for insuring ready forces were available for NATO if the need arose and for logistics support of US Navy ships and aircraft whether they were nationally or NATO assigned. CINCUSNAVEUR also worked with NATO commands and member governments in planning, operating and funding NATO facilities used by the US Navy.

Navy Region Europe consisted circa 2005 of: Naval Station Rota, Spain; Naval Support Activity Naples, Italy; Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily; Naval Support Activity Gaeta, Italy; Naval Support Activity La Maddalena, Sardinia; and Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, Crete. The forward-deployed submarine tender USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) is homeported in La Maddalena, Sardinia. Helicopter Support Squadron Four is based at NAS Sigonella, Sicily and the Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron Two is stationed in Rota, Spain.

Although CINCUSNAVEUR forces were primarily concentrated in the Mediterranean, the CINCUSNAVEUR area of responsibility extended from the North Cape in Norway to the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa and included the Adriatic, Baltic, and Black Seas, as well as the Mediterranean. Navy and Marine Corps personnel were positioned throughout the Mediterranean, Europe and the United Kingdom. These were either forward deployed on the more than 20 deployed ships, deployed squadrons or stationed on one of the 7 bases in the CINCUSNAVEUR area of responsibility. 10,000 Forward Based Sailors and Marines were stationed on bases through-out the area of responsibility. 12,000 Forward Deployed Sailors and Marines were aboard deployed ships and squadrons in the area of responsibility.

The United States Naval Forces Europe area of responsibility encompasses 89 countries with a combined population of over one billion people. Its landmass spreads across nearly 14 million square miles and touches 3 continents, while its maritime areas cover the Mediterranean, Black and Baltic Seas. Effective 1 October 2000, the maritime area was to expand to include several million square miles in the Atlantic Ocean. For planning purposes, USNAVEUR had divided the area of responsibility into 6 maritime regions: Black Sea; Levant / East Med; Maghreb and North Africa; Northern Europe and Baltic; Northern Mediterranean; and Sub-Saharan Africa. These were grouped to accommodate the maritime characteristics of these countries and their surrounding waters.

With the arrival of Admiral Harold R. Stark in April 1942, the US Navy had a presence in Europe with its headquarters building on Grosvenor Square in London. The building was also briefly the headquarters of Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander, early in World War II. The command's name changed during the subsequently 50 years, but its mission did not: coordination and leadership of naval forces throughout Europe and Western Africa. The headquarters continued to house the Commander in Chief, US Naval Forces, Europe, and his staff.

Restructuring of US fores in Europe led to the renaming of the command as Commander, US Naval Forces Europe (COMUSNAVEUR) by 2006 and the relocation of the command's headquarters to Naples, Italy. With the activation of US Africa Command in 2007, a Navy component command was established. The Commander, US Naval Forces Europe was dual-hatted as the Commander, US Naval Forces Africa. This joint command became known as US Naval Forces Europe-US Naval Forces Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF).

Commander, Allied Joint Force Command, Naples (COMJFC Naples)
Commander in Chief, Allied Forces, Southern Europe (CINCAFSOUTH)

Allied Joint Force Command (JFC) Naples prepares for, plans and conducts military operations in order to preserve the peace, security and territorial integrity of Alliance member states and freedom of the seas and economic lifelines throughout SACEUR's Area of Responsibility and beyond.

Twenty-two NATO nations contribute to the military staff of JFC Naples, previously known as Allied Forces South (AFSOUTH), in order to deter aggression and to contribute to the effective defense of NATO territory and forces, safeguard freedom of the seas and economic lifelines and to preserve or restore the security of NATO nations.

Commander Allied Joint Force Command Naples (COMJFC Naples) is to prepare for, plan and conduct military operations in order to preserve the peace, security and territorial integrity of Alliance member states and freedom of the seas and economic lifelines throughout SACEUR's area of responsibility and beyond.

In addition, he is to contribute to crisis management and deterrence by ensuring that assigned headquarters and forces are at the designated state of readiness for the conduct and support of operations, and to conduct prudent operational level military analysis and planning that includes the identification of required forces. He is to contribute to the development, conduct and evaluation of exercises to train Allied and Partner headquarters and Forces in NATO joint/combined procedures. He shall also contribute to stability throughout the Euro-Atlantic area through cooperation and dialogue under Partnership for Peace, the Mediterranean Dialogue, enhanced relations with Russia and Ukraine, as well as other initiatives in the field of consultation and engagement of non-NATO nations. He shall also work with Allied Command Transformation, in particular to promote the provision of capable combined/joint HQs, forces and capabilities.

COMJFC Naples has no permanently designated area of responsibility, but SACEUR can designate an approved Joint Operations Area to meet the requirement for exercises and operations. He will be assigned by SACEUR Areas of Functional Responsibility for day-to-day activities and the conduct of routine operational and non-operational tasks. COM JFC Naples can be also assigned Areas of Interest beyond NATO's territory to monitor and analyse regional instabilities, military capabilities and transnational issues, in order to identify their potential military consequences which may directly or indirectly influence NATO's security interests.

The assigned mission implies the need for each operational command to be capable of developing a military response to missions assigned to it for its expeditionary operations. The JFC Headquarters must therefore be able to mount a Combined Joint Task Force headquarters, or, from within its own staff, a smaller Deployable Joint Task Force as the "seed" for larger command and control formations which various missions may require. Each operational command will, on a rotational basis, assume responsibility to command the NRF and, during those periods, will constantly maintain the capability of deploying a Deployable Joint Task Force headquarters within 5 days of notice.

Allied Forces Southern Europe (AFSOUTH) was one of the 2 Regional Commands of NATO's Allied Command Europe (ACE). The Commander-in-Chief of AFSOUTH (CINCSOUTH) was a 4-star US Navy admiral, traditionally also the Commander in Chief, US Naval Forces Europe. As part of an overall internal adaptation of NATO's military structure, the organization of Headquarters, AFSOUTH was significantly modified on 1 September 1999, when a new structure was adopted. AFSOUTH's area of responsibility subsequently included: Greece, Hungary, Italy, Spain, and Turkey. It also included: the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov, the whole of the Mediterranean and the Atlantic approaches to the Strait of Gibraltar, east of longitude 7 23' 48" W, and an area around the Canary Islands and its associated airspace.

CINCSOUTH delegated command and control of forces that were or could be allocated to NATO in the Southern Region to a number of Principal Subordinate Commands (PSCs). AFSOUTH exercised direct command and control of Striking Forces Southern Europe (STRIKFORSOUTH), which constituted a permanent regional Reaction Force Headquarters in Naples, Italy. Allied Naval Forces South (NAVSOUTH), Naples, Italy, exercised operational control of the NATO Maritime Immediate Reaction Forces (IRFs), STANAVFORMED and MCMFORMED, and other assigned maritime forces in the area of responsibility and was responsible for their readiness and training. NAVSOUTH was also responsible for the preparation of maritime aspects of plans and the conduct of maritime exercises.

Allied Joint Force Command Naples (JFC Naples) was activated on 15 March 2004 and AFSOUTH was inactivated after nearly 53 years of successful activity in support of peace and stability in and around its designated area of responsibility. The activation of the new command was a part of NATO's transformation aimed at adapting the allied military structure to the operational challenges of coalition warfare, to face the emerging threats in the new millennium. The new NATO Command Structure was leaner, more flexible, more efficient, and better able to conduct the full range of Alliance missions.

The transition process was set into motion by decisions taken by NATO Heads of State and Government in Prague in 2002, when it was also agreed to create a NATO Response Force (NRF) consisting of a technologically advanced, flexible force including land, sea and air elements ready to move quickly to wherever needed as decided by the North Atlantic Council.

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Page last modified: 02-02-2014 18:35:52 ZULU