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“Today’s ceremony marks a changing tide. So often in life a beginning or ending of an era goes unmarked, and it is not until much later that we can look back and say—‘that is where it all began,’ or, ‘that is when things changed,’” said Lewis. “I cannot overstate the amount of work that goes into building two commands of this nature. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people have supported both Second fleet and Joint Force Command Norfolk since establishment, and a ‘thank you’ is truly not enough.”
On Sept. 30, 2011, after 65 years of faithful service to the U.S. Navy, 2nd Fleet was disestablished until Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. John Richardson, formally reestablished the command during an official ceremony on Aug 24, 2018. Lewis, a native of Los Altos, California, served as the first commander of the re-established 2nd Fleet, and was later named the Commander of the newly established NATO command, JFC Norfolk.
Prior to assuming the responsibilities of 2nd Fleet and JFC Norfolk, Dwyer’s previous assignment was the director of plans and policy at U.S. Cyber Command at Fort George G. Meade, Md.
“Under the exceptional leadership of Admiral Lewis, JFC Norfolk and 2nd Fleet have become the commands that our nation and Alliance both wanted and needed,” said Dwyer. “During this era of strategic competition, it is evident that the Atlantic and Arctic play a critical role in reinforcing common maritime norms, providing for economic freedom for North America and Europe, and for the ultimate goal of continued peace.”
Adm. Christopher Grady, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, exercises operational authority over 2nd Fleet and CJOS COE, and was a guest speaker and presiding officer during the ceremony.
“Provided only one year to operationalize a fleet battle staff capable of conducting sustained major combat operations in the Atlantic and High North, and with only 11 officers and four enlisted personnel at the start, Vice Adm. Lewis’ deft leadership and tireless efforts resulted in Second Fleet achieving initial operating capability in just nine months,” said Grady. “And true to his vision, he designed a fully integrated team that is lean, agile, and lethal in all domains and across the spectrum of conflict.”
Gen. Tod Wolters, the commander of U.S. European Command and NATO's Supreme Allied Command Europe exercises operational authority over JFC Norfolk, and also spoke and presided during the ceremony.
“Vice Adm. Andrew Lewis comprehensively led his force and found a way to make this organization better through his sheer willingness and will power,” said Wolters. “He found a way to take his component of JFC Norfolk and mesh it with all the components of NATO organizations and other commands to make them quicker, smarter and faster.”
JFC Norfolk provides a critical capability to NATO, providing for fuller situational awareness to the SACEUR based in Belgium. The command mission is to secure the strategic lines of communication between North America and Europe.
2nd Fleet exercises operational authorities over assigned ships, aircraft, and landing forces on the East Coast and throughout the Atlantic.
CJOS COE is a maritime focused NATO-accredited military think tanks established in May 2006 and with 13 member nations represented on the staff. CJOS is the only centre of excellence in the U.S., and one of 25 NATO centers worldwide, whose collective wealth of international experience, expertise and best practices helps to improve Alliance readiness for the future.
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