KEFLAVIK, Iceland (NNS) -- U.S. 2nd Fleet (C2F) has temporarily established an expeditionary Maritime Operations Center (MOC) in Keflavik, Iceland, to provide the U.S. Naval Forces Europe (NAVEUR) commander an additional ability to lead forces from a forward-operating location.
“I welcome C2F back to the European theater for the second time this year,” said Adm. James G. Foggo III, commander, Naval Forces Europe and Africa. “The additive capacity that 2nd Fleet brings to the European theater when operating forward alongside U.S. 6th Fleet (C6F) contributes to the overall success of our naval forces’ ability to address challenges and threats to safety and security in the maritime domain.”
The expeditionary MOC, made up of about 30 members of C2F staff, has the ability to command and control forces, provide basic indicators and warnings for situational awareness, and is able to issue orders while maintaining reach-back capability to C2F’s headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia.
“Iceland is a key ally, and its strategic location in the North Atlantic provides a perfect opportunity to test out our expeditionary MOC for the first time,” said Vice Adm. Andrew Lewis, commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet. “Operating out of Iceland reinforces our partnership while allowing us to practice operating in an expeditionary manner and test our ability to surge forward.”
The C2F expeditionary MOC is executing command and control of ships assigned to the recently deployed Surface Action Group (SAG), which is comprised of the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60) and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Lassen (DDG 82), USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98), and USS Farragut (DDG 99), as well as embarked aircraft from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 72.
While in the Atlantic, the SAG is operating in support of naval operations to maintain maritime stability and security, deter aggression, and defend U.S., allied, and partner interests.
C2F’s temporary operations out of Keflavik mark the second time the new fleet has operated at a forward location. C2F first demonstrated this expeditionary capability through command and control of exercise Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) in June 2019, when the majority of its staff embarked USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20).
“Successful operations in the Arctic require practice, and we will take the lessons learned from this deployment to further refine the expeditionary MOC concept for future operations in the North Atlantic and Arctic regions,” said Capt. Chris Slattery, director, C2F expeditionary MOC.
The expeditionary MOC concept is scalable and temporary in nature. While the C2F expeditionary MOC is currently operating out of Iceland, there is no predetermined or permanent operating location in the European theater.
C2F exercises operational and administrative authorities over assigned ships, aircraft, and landing forces on the East Coast and the Atlantic. When directed, C2F conducts exercises and operations within the U.S. European Command AOR as an expeditionary fleet, providing NAVEUR an additional maneuver arm to operate forces dynamically in theater.
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