Amid rising tensions with Russia, the Pentagon has announced the official launch of a new naval command and the reactivation of the US Second Fleet to bolster the US and Nato presence in the Atlantic Ocean.“The return to great power competition and a resurgent Russia demands that Nato refocus on the Atlantic to ensure dedicated reinforcement of the continent and demonstrate a capable and credible deterrence effect,” said Johnny Michael, a Pentagon spokesman. He said the new Nato command “will be the linchpin of trans-Atlantic security”.The decision reflects escalating worries across Europe and within Nato over Russia’s increased military presence and patrols in the Atlantic region. Under the new plan, the US will set up Nato’s new Atlantic Command headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia. Outlines of the plan were approved at the February meeting of Nato defence ministers as part of a broader effort to ensure the security of the sea lanes and lines of communication between Europe and North America. Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg told reporters at the time: “We have seen a much more assertive Russia, we have seen a Russia which has over many years invested heavily in their military capabilities, modernized their military capabilities, which are exercising not only conventional forces but also nuclear forces.”He said the new Atlantic Command would be vital for the alliance to be able to respond. Nato also created a new logistics command, which is expected to be located in Germany.
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