U.S. 4th Fleet, which hunted submarines in the South Atlantic during World War II until it was dissolved almost six decades ago, is on its way back.It looks like the plan right now is to ride on top of NAVSOUTH, but once you read some, you get to the nut.
The new 4th Fleet would cover a similar area, with plans to operate from Naval Station Mayport, Fla., and oversee operations in Central and South America. The commander of Naval Forces Southern Command would also be the head of 4th Fleet, Navy officials said.
The fleet would not own any ships. Instead, it would operate in the same way Navy forces do in the Persian Gulf region. In U.S. Central Command, one admiral serves as head of both Naval Forces Central Command and 5th Fleet. Therefore, the dual-hatted admiral in charge of 4th Fleet and NavSouth would be under the commander of Southern Command.
The NavSouth job is held now by a one-star admiral, Rear Adm. James W. Stevenson Jr., though the Navy formally upgraded the billet to that of a two-star admiral last summer, though the service, as is routine, will wait to put a two-star in the job until after Stevenson rotates out later this year.Of course - a shrinking Navy ALWAYS needs MORE Admirals.
The five current numbered fleet commanders are three-star admirals. While officials say upgrading the 4th Fleet job to three-star status would be a possibility in the future, such a move would require congressional approval, as it would most likely also require an increase in the number of vice admirals.
So, we have mismanaged shipbuilding and Fleet development to the point we have fewer and fewer ships concentrated in fewer and fewer homeports - and our response is to bloat the Staff structure and/or force people to get new nametags.
Tail or teeth; what is our priority? I think Sir Mixalot knows.