I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but I’m confused as to whether there is such a thing as the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. A number of readers may counter, “Of course there is no longer an Atlantic Fleet! Didn’t you read that 2006 Office of the Chief of Naval Operations notice replacing the Commander, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, with Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command?”
But it turns out that I’m hardly in the minority. In fact, many in the public at large and even in the Navy itself have no idea what the U.S. Pacific Fleet’s counterpart is.
For instance, an inspection team working for the headquarters of U.S. Fleet Forces Command, which replaced the U.S. Atlantic Fleet, toured my ship shortly before I reported on board. One would expect the inspection team to know whether the Atlantic Fleet exists. So when the team submitted its report to the Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, I figured the Atlantic Fleet still existed. But then the Commander, Submarine Force, Atlantic, wrote the response to the inspection report, indicating that as far as ComSubLant was concerned, there was no such thing.