U.S. Second Fleet traces its origin to the reorganization of the Navy following World War II in December 1945 and the formation of the U.S. Eighth Fleet under the command of Vice Admiral Marc A. Mitscher. In January 1947, Eighth Fleet was renamed Second Task Fleet. Three years later, in February 1950, the command was redesignated U.S. Second Fleet.
In October 1962, President John F. Kennedy called on Second Fleet to establish quarantine during the Cuban Missile Crisis. For more than a month, Second Fleet units operated northeast of the island, intercepting and inspecting dozens of ships for contraband.
Some twenty years later, President Ronald Reagan ordered Second Fleet to the Caribbean again, but this time to lead the rescue of Americans on the island of Grenada during Operation Urgent Fury. Leading joint forces, Second Fleet became Commander, Joint Task Force 120 (CJTF 120), and commanded units from the U.S. Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps.
During Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Second Fleet trained more than half of the Navy ships deployed to Southwest Asia.
In late 2002, Second Fleet disembarked its command ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) and reestablished itself in its headquarters building W-5 to allow Mount Whitney to deploy to the Horn of Africa (HOA) region in support of the Global War On Terror.
In early 2004, seven months after Mount Whitney’s return from its HOA deployment, Second Fleet reembarked Mount Whitney and reclaimed her as the Second Fleet command ship. During its relatively short stay back aboard the flagship, Second Fleet conducted the two-week Combined Joint Task Force Exercise (CJTFEX) 04-2 (Operation Blinding Storm) in July 2004. In 2005 Second Fleet deactivated Striking Fleet Atlantic to support NATO transformation, and stood up the Combined Joint Operations from the Sea/Center of Excellence to continue to provide our unique expertise for maritime operations to our allies.
Today we are headquartered in a new building, D-29, with staff elements distributed onboard our flagship USS Wasp (LHD 1). We are equipped to serve as a Maritime headquarters with a Maritime Operation Center bringing unprecendented clarity and coordination to the maritime battlespace. We continue to shape joint warfighting capabilities from a command level as we prepare for our up-coming certification as a Joint Task Force headquarters.