US Navy revives Fourth Fleet to police Latin America

The US Navy plans to re-establish its Fourth Fleet, disbanded in 1950, to oversee ships, aircraft and submarines operating in the Caribbean and Central and South America. Rear Admiral Joseph Kernan, current commander of the Naval Special Warfare Command, will lead the fleet effective July 1, Admiral Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations, said in a statement. The fleet will be based in Mayport, FLA, coordinating with the US Naval Forces Southern Command, which also is based there. “This change increases our emphasis in the region on employing naval forces to build confidence and trust among nations through collective maritime security efforts that focus on common threats and mutual interests,” Roughead said. (Bloomberg, April 24)

Venezuela‘s Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias called the revival of the Fourth Fleet “a threatening shadow upon Latin America and the Caribbean.” (ABN, May 9) Cuba’s Ganma wrote: “It was created in 1943 to fight Nazi submarines and protect shipping during World War II. It was deactivated as unnecessary in 1950. The Southern Command was meeting the needs of United States hegemony in our region. However, it has been reborn in recent days, after 48 years, and its interventionist purposes do not need to be demonstrated.” (Granma, May 5)