ARLINGTON, Va. — President Donald J Trump has nominated Vice Adm. Andrew L. Lewis to command the new U.S. Second Fleet, to be headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia.
Lewis, a naval aviator, has served as deputy chief of naval operations for Operations, Plans and Strategy since August. He began his career as an A-7 attack pilot and later made the transition to the F/A-18. He has flown 100 combat missions during numerous operations in Southwest Asia since 1991. He was the recipient of the Naval Air Forces Pacific Pilot of the Year award in 1996.
His command tours include Carrier Strike Group 12, deploying with USS Theodore Roosevelt; Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center; Carrier Air Wing 3, deploying with USS Harry S. Truman; Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106; and VFA-15, deploying on USS Enterprise and USS Theodore Roosevelt.
The chief of naval operations, Adm. John Richardson, announced the establishment of the fleet during a change of command ceremony for U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFF) in Norfolk, May 4, the Navy said in a release. The new fleet will report to USFF.
“Second Fleet will exercise operational and administrative authorities over assigned ships, aircraft and landing forces on the East Coast and northern Atlantic Ocean,” the release said. “Additionally, it will plan and conduct maritime, joint and combined operations and will train, certify and provide maritime forces to respond to global contingencies.
In its former iteration, Second Fleet generated forces to support operations in the North Atlantic, as well as U.S. Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean Sea, the Middle East Force (later U.S. Fifth Fleet) in the Persian Gulf and, occasionally, U.S. Seventh Fleet during the Vietnam War. The fleet figured prominently in the Navy’s Maritime Strategy of the Cold War Era, when the Second Fleet staff would embark in a flagship for exercises in the North Atlantic and Norwegian Sea as a bulwark against the Soviet Union. The former Second Fleet was disestablished in 2011.
As noted by U.S. European Command, the Russian Navy has become more active in recent years in the Northern Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea. U.S. Sixth Fleet in recent years has operated more frequently in the Baltic and Black Seas.