NATO’s New Atlantic Command Declared Operational
Sept. 18, 2020 (EIRNS)—NATO declared its new Atlantic Command operational during a ceremony in Norfolk, Va., yesterday. “NATO is a transatlantic Alliance and the North Atlantic is vital for the security of Europe,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement. “Our new Atlantic Command will ensure crucial routes for reinforcements and supplies from North America to Europe remain secure.” The new command is headed by U.S. Vice Adm. Andrew Lewis, who also commands the U.S. 2nd Fleet. “The establishment of this command confirms enduring cohesion with NATO and its ability to face all challenges,” Lewis said, reported the Navy Times. “We have recognized the increasingly complex operating environment, particularly in this geographic area,” he said. “NATO has adapted to this challenge by strengthening its defensive posture.” The new command was first stood up in October 2018.
As if to make NATO’s point, the U.S. Navy is running an anti-submarine exercise in the Atlantic this week called “Black Widow,” in which the service tests its ability to detect and track undersea vessels in a region where Russian activity has been reportedly ramping up. “We’ve got to maintain our positional advantage over the adversary—specifically in the Atlantic, the undersea capability of the Russians. We have got to maintain that advantage,” Lewis told reporters on Wednesday (Sept. 17). The amphibious assault ship U.S.S Wasp, guided-missile destroyers USS Arleigh Burke and USS McFaul, two nuclear-powered attack submarines and maritime patrol aircraft are participating in the exercise.