Atlantic Fleet Gets New Name, More Work

November 2nd, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: Atlantic Fleet Gets New Name, More Work

Norfolk Virginian-Pilot
November 1, 2006

By Jack Dorsey, The Virginian-Pilot
NORFOLK - For more than 100 years, the Atlantic Fleet has stood as the East Coast arm of the Navy, providing roughly half the force to protect and defend ocean waters between here, Europe and beyond.
President Theodore Roosevelt formally established it Jan. 1, 1906, and made the world take notice when he later sent the "Great White Fleet" out of Hampton Roads on a 14-month globe-trotting mission.
On Tuesday, aboard the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, with a huge sketch of "Teddy Roosevelt" looking down from a hangar bay door, the Atlantic Fleet was no more - at least not in name.
It was disestablished for want of another name: the U.S. Fleet Forces Command. The command has new responsibilities for more than just the Atlantic Fleet. It is responsible for the training, maintenance and operation of ships, planes and people on the East Coast and West Coast, where the Pacific Fleet will retain its name.
Its last commander, Adm. John B. Nathman, said during the ceremony Tuesday that the change involved a simple Navy headquarters notice that formally authorized the name switch.
But the change brought back memories of more than a century of history within the fleet, Nathman said.
Its name was altered once before, in 1922 when, under another Navy reorganization, its title became Commander Scouting Force.
Then it was changed back to Atlantic Fleet in February 1941.
"This ceremony honors men and women of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet for what they and their ships and submarines, aircraft and forces have accomplished across the globe on so many missions these last 100 years," Nathman said.
He introduced three former Atlantic Fleet commanders who attended the event: retired Adms. Robert J. Natter, William J. Flanagan Jr. and Harry D. Train II.
"The admirals and I were commenting that naval officers are always very organized," he said, "and no doubt we will change our name again in the future."

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