The Sixth Fleet is the United States Navy's operational fleet and staff of United States Naval Forces Europe.
The Sixth Fleet is headquartered at Naval Support Activity Naples, Italy. The officially stated mission of the Sixth Fleet in 2011 is that it "conducts the full range of Maritime Operations and Theater Security Cooperation missions, in concert with coalition, joint, interagency, and other parties, in order to advance security and stability in Europe and Africa."
The Sixth Fleet was established in February 1950 by redesignation of the former Sixth Task Fleet. Since that time, it has been continually engaged in world affairs around the Mediterranean, and, on occasion, further afield. It was involved in numerous NATO maritime exercises, the U.S. Lebanese intervention of 1958, confrontation with the Soviets during the Yom Kippur War (also known as the October War) of 1973, clearance of the Suez Canal after 1973, several confrontations with Libya during the 1980s (including Operation El Dorado Canyon), and maintenance of task forces in the Adriatic during the wars in former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.
The Sixth Fleet provided military, logistical and humanitarian assistance to support NATO operations in Kosovo from the beginning of Operation Allied Force. It also participated in Operation Shining Hope andOperation Joint Guardian.
The Sixth Fleet is operationally organized into task forces. Naval Striking and Support Forces, South included Task Force 502 (Carrier Forces, effectively Task Force 60), Task Force 503 (Amphibious Forces), Task Force 504 (Landing Forces), Task Force 505 (Logistics Forces), and Task Force 506 (Special Operations Forces).
Since the submarine tender Emory S. Land, based in La Maddalena in Sardinia, changed homeports to Bremerton, Washington, the fleet has just one permanently assigned ship, Mount Whitney.
U.S. Naval forces entering the Mediterranean Sea have their operational control changed to being under Sixth Fleet. This change of command is always referred to as 'CHOPing,' an abbreviation for Change of Operational Control.
Sixth Fleet has consisted of up to 40 ships, 175 aircraft and 21,000 people, such as in early 2003, when two carrier battle groups operated in the Mediterranean during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The New York Post criticized the shrinking of the fleet since 2003 to the point in 2010 where it could exercise no control in preventing the Gaza flotilla raid. In March 2011, it was involved in operations in Libya pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973
The earliest presence of U.S. Navy forces in Europe was the Mediterranean Squadron.the European Squadron following the American Civil War, the forces were combined as part of the North Atlantic Fleet in 1906. In 1917, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters was established for the duration of World War I
The commander of the Sixth Fleet is Vice Admiral James G. Foggo, III. In his recent article, he wrote: 'Once again, an effective, skilled, and technologically advanced Russian submarine force is challenging us. Russian submarines are prowling the Atlantic, testing our defenses, confronting our command of the seas, and preparing the complex underwater battlespace to give them an edge in any future conflict.'
Заокеанские политиканы уже давно сделали Средиземное море своим внутренним морем. Если для Римской империи такое положение было вполне естественным, то для дяди Сэма - это полнейший нонсенс. Но в военных планах американских милитаристов именно этой ключевой точке между тремя континентами отводится особое место. И тут свою агрессивную роль играет Шестой флот США.