United States Fourth Fleet
|Country||United States of America|
|Branch||United States Navy|
|Role||Direct Fleet Operations|
|Part of||U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command
U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM)
|Garrison/HQ||Naval Station Mayport|
|Rear Admiral George W. Ballance|
U.S. Fourth Fleet is a United States Navy command operating the Navy component command of U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM). Fourth Fleet is headquartered on Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville, Florida and is responsible for U.S. Navy ships, aircraft and submarines operating in the Caribbean, and Atlantic and Pacific Oceans around Central and South America.
World War II
U.S. Fourth Fleet was a major U.S. Navy command in the South Atlantic Ocean during World War II. It was originally established in 1943 to protect the U.S. against Axis surface raiders, blockade runners, and submarines.
In 1950, the Fourth Fleet was disestablished when its responsibilities were taken over by the United States Second Fleet.
On 24 April 2008, then Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral Gary Roughead announced the reestablishment of the Fourth Fleet. Nearly three months later on 12 July 2008, it was re-established during a ceremony at Naval Station Mayport, Florida.
The reactivation of the Fourth Fleet without first informing foreign governments in the region sparked concern within some South American governments. The governments of Argentina and Brazil made formal inquiries as to the fleet's mission in the region. In Venezuela, President Hugo Chávez accused the United States of attempting to frighten the people of South America by reactivating the fleet. and vowed that his country's new Sukhoi Su-30 jets could sink any U.S. ships invading Venezuelan waters. Cuban ex-president Fidel Castro warned that it could lead to more incidents such as the 2008 Andean diplomatic crisis.
U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command (USNAVSO) and the Fourth Fleet support USSOUTHCOM joint and combined full-spectrum military operations by providing principally sea-based forward presence to ensure freedom of maneuver in the maritime domain, to foster and sustain cooperative relationships with international partners, and to fully exploit the sea as maneuver space in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central American, and South American regions. It has five missions: support for peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, traditional maritime exercises, and counterdrug support operations.
Commander, USNAVSO (COMUSNAVSO) also serves as the Navy component commander for USSOUTHCOM. U.S. Fourth Fleet is responsible for U.S. Navy ships, aircraft and submarines operating in the USSOUTHCOM area of responsibility, which encompasses the Caribbean, Central America, South America, and surrounding waters. It is an organizational fleet staffed to fulfill a planning and coordination mission; as part of its 2008 reestablishment, no vessels are permanently assigned to the Fourth Fleet. Ships home-ported in the United States Fleet Forces Command and United States Third Fleet routinely deploy to the Fourth Fleet area of responsibility (AOR), during which time they are under the operational control of the Fourth Fleet commander.
Fourth Fleet Commanders
- Vice Admiral Jonas H. Ingram (September 1942 – 11 November 1944)
- Vice Admiral William R. Munroe (11 November 1944 – 15 April 1945)
- Vice Admiral Thomas R. Cooley (1945 – mid 1946)
- Vice Admiral Daniel E. Barbey (September 1946 – March 1947)
- Vice Admiral Charles McMorris (mid-1947 – July 1948)
- Rear Admiral Joseph D. Kernan (1 July 2008 – 12 June 2009)
- Rear Admiral Victor G. Guillory (12 June 2009 – 5 August 2011)
- Rear Admiral Kurt W. Tidd (5 August 2011 – 22 June 2012)
- Rear Admiral Sinclair M. Harris (22 June 2012 – 17 April 2014)
- Rear Admiral George W. Ballance (17 April 2014 – present)
- United States Fleet Forces Command
- United States Second Fleet
- United States Third Fleet
- United States Fifth Fleet
- United States Sixth Fleet
- United States Seventh Fleet
- United States Tenth Fleet
- "Navy Reestablishes U.S. Fourth Fleet". United States Navy. 24 April 2008.
- "Chavez attacks the Fourth Fleet at the start of parade / Chávez arremete contra la IV Flota en el inicio del desfile militar". www.noticias24.com. 5 July 2008.
- "Fourth Fleet to intervene to Latin America tomorrow / IV Flota de intervención hacia Latinoamérica mañana". www.rlp.com.ni. 30 June 2008.
- "HyperWar The Official Chronology of the U.S. Navy in World War II". United States Navy. 1 June 2006.
- "HyperWar The Official Chronology of the U.S. Navy in World War II". United States Navy. 5 June 2012.
- "Biography of Thomas Ross Cooley". United States Navy. 1 June 2006.
- "Papers of Vice Admiral Daniel E. Barbey, 1941–1969". Naval Historical Center. 1 June 2006.
- "Biography of Joseph D. Kernan". United States Navy. 5 June 2012.
- "Biography of Victor G. Guillory". United States Navy. 5 June 2012.
- "Biography of Kurt W. Tidd". United States Navy. 5 June 2012.
- "Biography of Sinclair M. Harris". United States Navy. 22 June 2012.
- "Biography of George W. Ballance". United States Navy. 24 April 2014.