In a release issued by the US Navy on 4 May, it was revealed that the fleet will exercise operational and administrative authorities over assigned ships, aircraft and landing forces on the US' east coast and northern Atlantic Ocean.
"Our national security strategy makes clear that we have entered the era competition of global powers", the Admiral said.
The Pentagon's decision reflects growing worries across Europe and within NATO about Russia's increased military presence and patrols in the Atlantic region. "So as we've seen this great power competition emerge, the Atlantic Ocean is as dynamic a theater as any and particular the North Atlantic, so as we consider high-end naval warfare, fighting in the Atlantic, that will be the 2nd Fleet's responsibility".
A resurgent Russia which has made multiple incursions close to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies airspace as well as reports of Russian submarines probing underseas data cables has prompted the re-establishment of the fleet.
The United States Navy is re-establishing its Second Fleet, responsible for the northern Atlantic Ocean, almost seven years after it was disbanded as the Pentagon puts countering Russian Federation at the heart of its military strategy.
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The new NATO command "will be the linchpin of trans-Atlantic security", he said.
Navy officials had previously recommended reactivating the fleet as part of broader force structure reviews following last year's deadly row of collisions among ships at the Japan-based 7th Fleet.
The command will begin operations July 1. That staff will eventually expand to 85 officers, 164 enlisted and seven civilians, according to the US Naval Institute.
"We face growing threats from revisionist powers as different as China and Russian Federation, nations that seek to create a world consistent with their authoritarian models", Mattis said as he unveiled the Pentagon's national defense strategy.
The decision to reactivate the 2nd Fleet followed increasing threats in the Atlantic from Russian Federation, officials familiar with the decision told USNI News.