Task Force 80

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Task Force 80 (TF-80)
Active1 October 2012 – present
Country United States of America
BranchUnited States Navy
TypeTask Force
RoleMaritime Headquarters (MHQ)
Part ofUnited States Fleet Forces Command
Garrison/HQNaval Station Norfolk, Virginia
DirectorRear Admiral John D. Alexander, USN[1]

Task Force 80, abbreviated as TF-80, has been the designation of several U.S. Navy task forces, with its current use associated with the United States Fleet Forces Command headquartered at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia.

Historical antecedents[edit]

Map of the Allied landings in Sicily code-named Operation Husky on 10 July 1943

During World War Two, Task Force 80 was the designation for the Western Naval Task Force, under the command of Vice Admiral Henry K. Hewitt, USN, during the Allied invasion of Sicily and the Salerno landings, the first sustained land assault and invasion of the European continent undertaken by the Allied powers.[2] The Western Naval Task Force landed the U.S. Seventh Army under Lieutenant General George S. Patton, USA, on the southern coast of the island of Sicily on 10 July 1943.[3] This task force subsequently landed the U.S. Fifth Army under Lieutenant General Mark W. Clark, USA, in southern Italy near the seaport of Salerno on 9 September 1943.[4]

After World War Two, Task Force 80 was the designation for a 1948 joint Navy-Coast Guard task force consisting of the Wind-class icebreakers USCGC Edisto and USCGC Eastwind, as well as the Andromeda-class attack cargo ship USS Wyandot. This Task Force 80 resupplied weather stations at Thule, Greenland, and on Ellesmere Island while establishing a new weather station on the northern point of that island. Additionally, the ships performed reconnaissance for the establishment of additional weather stations, carried out cold-weather operations, tested equipment, and collected a variety of scientific data.[5][6][7][8]

Finally, Task Force 80 was the designation for the Naval Patrol and Protection of Shipping Force of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet during the Cold War and thereafter. This TF-80's mission was the coordination of the U.S. naval forces in order to protect merchant marine shipping from hostile action in the event of a theoretical third Battle of the Atlantic.[9][10][11]

Current usage[edit]

Following the issue of the Navigation Plan 2013–2017 guidance from the Chief of Naval Operations,[12][13] U.S. Fleet Forces Command was realigned to a command structure centered around a Maritime Operations Center and Maritime Headquarters.[12]

The Maritime Operations Center is the lead agency for all phases of the pre-deployment fleet response training plan (FRTP) cycle involving those naval units assigned to the Fleet Forces Command. In essence, the MOC is responsible for the transition of all naval units from their operational phase to their tactical phase prior to their overseas deployment.[12][14]

Consequently, effective 1 October 2012, Task Force 20 was re-designated as Task Force 80, a major task force within the U.S. Fleet Forces Command. TF-80 serves as the designation for the Maritime Headquarters (MHQ) component for Fleet Forces Command, and it is organized into the following task groups.[14] They are:

Ships of Carrier Strike Group Eight underway in the Atlantic Ocean during its pre-deployment composite training unit exercise (16 May 2012)

The commander of Task Force 80 is the director of the Maritime Headquarters staff, an active-duty two-star rear admiral.[14] When constituted as a joint task force for multi-service operations with the U.S. Northern Command, Task Force 80 will be re-designated as Task Force 180. TF-180's objective is to execute the Maritime Command Element (MCE) functions based on the U.S. eastern seaboard as directed by Joint Forces Maritime Component Commander North (JFMCC-N) who is also the Fleet Forces commander. Task Force 180 is supported in this task by applicable capabilities and assets provided from Fleet Operations Task Forces of the U.S. Fleet Forces Command when these fleet formations are acting as joint task forces.[14]

By July 2015, Commander, Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command had become Task Force 80.7.[16]

Other usage[edit]

Naval Task Force 80 is the rapid deployment force for the Philippine Navy, with the capability to meet any contingencies throughout the Philippine archipelago.[17]


  1. ^ "Rear Admiral John D. Alexander". Official Biography. United States Navy. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  2. ^ Morison 2011, pp. 385–394
  3. ^ Morison 2011, pp. 52–147
  4. ^ Morison 2011, pp. 225–314
  5. ^ "Edisto". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Navy Department, Naval History and Heritage Command. Archived from the original on 13 March 2004. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
  6. ^ "Wyandot". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Navy Department, Naval History and Heritage Command. Archived from the original on 17 March 2004. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
  7. ^ Kikkert, Peter; Lackenbauer, P. Whitney (2 October 2011). "Setting an Arctic Course: Task Force 80 and Canadian Control in the Arctic, 1948". Northern Mariner / Le Marin du Nord. 21 (4). Retrieved 16 March 2013.
  8. ^ Metcalf 1949
  9. ^ "Commander, Task Force 80 (CTF-80), Protection of Shipping Force, Naval Control and Protection of Shipping (NCAPS)". GlobalSecurity.org. 7 May 2011. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
  10. ^ Polmar 1993, p. 34 (Table 6-3)
  11. ^ Department of Defense Handbook 2004, p. 298
  12. ^ a b c Gortney, William E. (October 2012). "Commander's Vision and Guidance: Executive Summary". Retrieved 17 March 2012.
  13. ^ Greenert, Jonathan (2012). "CNO's Navigation Plan 2013–2017" (PDF). Retrieved 17 March 2012.
  14. ^ a b c d "USFF Commanders Guidance Brief to Senior Staff 17 Sep_FINAL". Scribd.com. 17 September 2012. Retrieved 15 March 2012. Slides 22, 43—49.
  15. ^ "Rename and Modify Mission of Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group Atlantic and Change Immediate Superior in Command of Patrol Squadron Three Zero" (PDF). Documents. United States Navy. 9 July 2012. Retrieved 8 October 2013. DNS-33/12U102106. Formerly known as Patrol and Reconnaissance Group Atlantic.
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 November 2015. Retrieved 18 November 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^ "Philippine Navy". The Official Navy Field Philippine Forums. 2009. Retrieved 16 March 2013.

Further reading[edit]

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