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NATO Striking Fleet Atlantic to Deactivate

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050623-03
Release Date: 6/23/2005 11:08:00 AM

From Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- NATO Striking Fleet Atlantic will deactivate in a ceremony to be held on USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) June 24.

For more than 53 years, NATO Striking Fleet Atlantic (CSFL) has called Norfolk, Va., home. As the only sea-based multinational combatant commander, CSFL has resided within the staff of Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet and has reported directly to the Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic, now known as Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, and Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe since 2003.

“The deactivation of NATO Striking Fleet Atlantic closes one important chapter on how the alliance has made a very real and successful difference in the security and stability of its members," said Vice Adm. Mark Fitzgerald, the last Commander of Striking Fleet Atlantic, who also serves as commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet. "It also serves as a new beginning, with the establishment of a Combined Joint Operations from the Sea Center of Excellence here at 2nd Fleet."

Because NATO has transformed and simplified its command structure, it has transitioned its sea-based multinational combatant commander duties to a newly-established headquarters in Lisbon, Portugal. The move allows for a more streamlined NATO Response Force (NRF) of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Special Forces to address today’s security environment and meet threats to security from wherever they may come.

“The many contributions NATO Striking Fleet Atlantic has made in building relationships and redefining interoperability has ultimately provided stability around the globe and are truly most impressive, as NATO continues to transform the vital mission of preparing forces to respond to threats that face our member nations remains paramount," said Marine Gen. James Jones, Supreme Allied Commander and Commander, U.S. European Command. "While we look back at the satisfaction of the peace you’ve earned, we must continue to secure our collective peace in the future."

Since its inception in 1952, CSFL supported and developed a synergistic approach to supporting the multinational expeditionary maritime operations that offer stability throughout the world through its participation in dozens of major combined and joint maritime training and exercise events. In addition, CSFL has worked with multinational and national entities over the last half-century, to provide NATO with expertise and experience to support its maritime strategy resting on the triple pillars of sea control, power projection and oceanic reinforcement around the rim of Europe.

“From the strategic conflict of the Cold War to the global war on terror, Striking Fleet Atlantic has been the starting point for training our forces to defend freedom whenever and wherever it was threatened,” said Adm. Vern Clark, Chief of Naval Operations. “This special command has been critical to ensuring stability and security on the high seas.”

“Striking Fleet Atlantic has played a key role in the success of our Navy. It has been the main force of peace and security and forging maritime ties with our allies," echoed Adm. Edmund Giambastiani, Commander U.S. Joint Forces Command and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Transformation. "By working in a multinational environment, Striking Fleet Atlantic provided NATO with unparalleled expertise and was central to keeping open sea-lanes of communication from the Cold War to the global war on terrorism."

The June 24 ceremony celebrates the accomplishments of CSFL and helps say goodbye to a headquarters command that trained and provided steady leadership over decades of global change. The ceremony is a culmination of service highlighting Striking Fleet Atlantic’s efforts from the Cold War to the global war on terrorism. Guest of honor for the ceremony will be retired Royal Navy Admiral, Sir Ian Garnett, KCB. Garnett is the former Deputy Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic and former chief of staff for Supreme Allied Command Headquarters, Europe.


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