The US Navy is establishing the First Fleet, a new command for the Indo-Pacific that will allow the service to improve its posture in the region, US Navy Secretary (SECNAV) Kenneth Braithwaite announced in a congressional hearing on December 2.
First Fleet will be responsible for the Indo and South-Asian region as an expeditionary fleet backed to the capabilities and unpredictability of an agile, mobile, at-sea command.
“This will reassure our allies and partners of our presence and commitment to this region while ensuring any potential adversary knows we are committed to global presence to ensure rule of law and freedom of the seas,” Braithwaite said.
In another major announcement during the hearing, SECNAV disclosed that Fleet Forces Command would be renamed as the Atlantic Fleet. He said the navy would refocus its naval forces in this important region to their original mission, controlling the maritime approaches to the United States and to those of our allies.
“The Atlantic Fleet will confront the re-assertive Russian Navy, which has been deploying closer and closer to our East Coast with a tailored maritime presence, capability and lethality,” he said.
What is more, the SECNAV also revealed that the second ship of the new class of US Navy FFG(X) frigates would be named USS Congress. The announcement follow the naming of the first ship in the class, the future USS Constellation, in October this year.
With the name, the navy is keeping the trend of naming the ships of the new class after the original six frigates – USS President, USS Constellation, USS Chesapeake, USS United States, USS Congress and the undefeated USS Constitution, which later received the nickname Old Ironsides and is to this day the world’s oldest commissioned naval vessel still afloat.