Commander, 2nd Fleet, Exploring Headquarters, Command Ship Options

WASHIGNTON — The commander of the newly established U.S. 2nd Fleet said he is looking at various options for a new headquarters and the possibility of having a command ship.

“We are looking at options to equip the 2nd Fleet with a platform that allows us to show that we are indeed lean, agile and expeditionary,” Vice Adm. Andrew “Woody” Lewis, said Nov. 28 at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank.

“For the foreseeable future, the 2nd Fleet will be located at Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads, but we are looking at options for both permanent and expeditionary spaces that would allow for flexibility and mobility,” Lewis said. “This could be a combination of facilities at Naval Station Norfolk as well as options for a command ship through our Military Sealift Command.

“Mobility allows to be ready to fight, ready to fight so we don’t have to,” he said. “As a lean and expeditionary staff, a small number of our team will operate forward either from a ship or an austere location as a command-and-control element with reach-back capability to our home guard.”

USS Mount Whitney, currently the flagship of U.S. 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean Sea, was the flagship of the former iteration of the U.S. 2nd Fleet that was in existence from February 1950 until it was disestablished in September 2011.

The current U.S. 2nd Fleet was established on Aug. 24. Lewis said he is driving his staff to reach full operational capability in 2019. He expects to be fully staffed in January with 80 personnel.