A fleet or naval fleet is a large formation of warships - the largest formation in any navy - controlled by one leader.A fleet at sea is the direct equivalent of an army on land.
Fleets are usually, but not necessarily, permanent formations and are generally assigned to a particular ocean or sea. Most fleets are named after that ocean or sea, but the convention in the United States Navy is to use numbers.
A fleet is normally commanded by an admiral, who is often also a commander in chief, but many fleets have been or are commanded by vice admirals or even rear admirals. Most fleets are divided into several squadrons, each under a subordinate admiral. Those squadrons in turn are often divided into divisions. In the age of sail, fleets were divided into van, centre and rear squadrons, named after each squadron’s place in the line of battle. In more modern times, the squadrons are typically composed of homogeneous groups of the same class of warship, such as battleships or cruisers.
Since many smaller navies contain a single fleet, the term the fleet is often synonymous with the navy.
Multinational fleets are not uncommon in naval history. For example, several nations made up the Holy League fleet at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. In modern times, NATO has formed standing combined fleets and operations from several national navies such as Operation Active Endeavour.
Modern fleets combine surface warships, submarines, support ships and ship-based aircraft to conduct naval operations at sea. Generally understood to be the blue water, or oceanic, green water or littoral versus the brown water or coastal/riverine forces. The fleets of larger navies are usually divided into smaller numbered or named fleets based on geographic operating areas or on administrative groupings of same type ships.
Modern fleets are usually administrative units. Typically, individual task forces are formed to conduct specific operations. Fleets are also known as a group of dolphins over 100 in one said pod becomes a Fleet.
A navy or sea force is the branch of a nation's armed forces principally designated for naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake-borne, riverine, littoral, or ocean-borne combat operations and related functions. It includes anything conducted by surface ships, amphibious ships, submarines, and seaborne aviation, as well as ancillary support, communications, training, and other fields. The strategic offensive role of a navy is projection of force into areas beyond a country's shores. The strategic defensive purpose of a navy is to frustrate seaborne projection-of-force by enemies. The strategic task of the navy also may incorporate nuclear deterrence by use of submarine-launched ballistic missiles. Naval operations can be broadly divided between riverine and littoral applications, open-ocean applications, and something in between, although these distinctions are more about strategic scope than tactical or operational division.
The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is the naval branch of the Australian Defence Force. Following the Federation of Australia in 1901, the ships and resources of the separate colonial navies were integrated into a national force, called the Commonwealth Naval Forces. Originally intended for local defence, the navy was granted the title of 'Royal Australian Navy' in 1911, and became increasingly responsible for defence of the region.
A task force (TF) is a unit or formation established to work on a single defined task or activity. Originally introduced by the United States Navy, the term has now caught on for general usage and is a standard part of NATO terminology. Many non-military organizations now create "task forces" or task groups for temporary activities that might have once been performed by ad hoc committees.
The Sixth Fleet is a numbered fleet of the United States Navy operating as part 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 current commander of the Sixth Fleet is Vice Admiral Eugene H. Black III.
The Fifth Fleet is a numbered fleet of the United States Navy. It has been responsible for naval forces in the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Arabian Sea, and parts of the Indian Ocean since 1995 after a 48-year hiatus. It shares a commander and headquarters with U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) in Bahrain. As of 7 December 2018, the commander of the 5th Fleet is Vice Admiral James J. Malloy. Fifth Fleet/NAVCENT is a component command of, and reports to, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM).
A group is a military aviation unit, a component of military organization and a military formation. The terms group and wing differ significantly from one country to another, as well as between different branches of a national defence force.
A flotilla, or naval flotilla, is a formation of small warships that may be part of a larger fleet. A flotilla is usually composed of a homogeneous group of the same class of warship, such as frigates, destroyers, torpedo boats, submarines, gunboats, or minesweepers. Groups of larger warships are usually called squadrons, but similar units of non-capital ships may be called squadrons in some instances, and flotillas in others. Formations including more than one capital ship, e.g. men-of-war, battleships, and aircraft carriers, typically alongside smaller ships and support craft, are typically called fleets, each portion led by a capital ship being a squadron or task force.
A squadron, or naval squadron, is a significant group of warships which is nonetheless considered too small to be designated a fleet. A squadron is typically a part of a fleet. Between different navies there are no clear defining parameters to distinguish a squadron from a fleet, and the size and strength of a naval squadron varies greatly according to the country and time period. Groups of small warships, or small groups of major warships, might instead be designated flotillas by some navies according to their terminology. Since the size of a naval squadron varies greatly, the rank associated with command of a squadron also varies greatly.
The Northern Patrol also known as Cruiser Force B and Northern Patrol Force was an operation of the British or Royal Navy during the First World War and again during the Second World War.
The Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) is the naval arm of the Sri Lanka Armed Forces and is classed as the country's most vital defence force due to its island geography and is responsible for the maritime defense of the Sri Lankan nation and its interests. The role of the Sri Lanka Navy is to conduct operations at sea for the defence of the nation and its interests and conduct prompt and sustainable combat operations at sea in accordance with the national policies.
Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed forces of a state so as to offer such military capability as a national defense policy may require. In some countries paramilitary forces are included in a nation's armed forces, though not considered military. Armed forces that are not a part of military or paramilitary organizations, such as insurgent forces, often mimic military organizations, or use ad hoc structures, while formal military organization tends to use hierarchical forms.
United States Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) is the United States Navy element of United States Central Command (USCENTCOM). Its area of responsibility includes the Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, Persian Gulf, and Arabian Sea. It consists of the United States Fifth Fleet and several other subordinate task forces, including Combined Task Force 150, Combined Task Force 158 and others.
The structure of the United States Navy consists of four main bodies: the Office of the Secretary of the Navy, the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, the operating forces, and the Shore Establishment.
Kure Naval District was the second of four main administrative districts of the pre-war Imperial Japanese Navy. Its territory included the Inland Sea of Japan and the Pacific coasts of southern Honshū from Wakayama to Yamaguchi prefectures, eastern and northern Kyūshū and Shikoku.
Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151) is a multinational naval task force, set up in 2009 as a response to piracy attacks in the Gulf of Aden and off the eastern coast of Somalia. Its mission is to disrupt piracy and armed robbery at sea and to engage with regional and other partners to build capacity and improve relevant capabilities in order to protect global maritime commerce and secure freedom of navigation. It operates in conjunction with the EU's Operation Atalanta and NATO's Operation Ocean Shield.
Fleet Command is responsible for the command, operations, readiness, training and force generation of all ships, submarines, aircraft squadrons, diving teams, and shore establishments of the Royal Australian Navy. Fleet Command is headquartered at HMAS Kuttabul in Sydney, and is led by the Commander Australian Fleet (COMAUSFLT), also referred to as Fleet Commander Australia (FCAUST), which is a rear admiral (two-star) appointment.
Commander, Carrier Strike Group FOUR is the U.S. Fleet Forces Command formation charged with training and certifying Atlantic Fleet Carrier Strike Groups, Amphibious Ready Groups, and independently deploying surface ships. Its mission is to "Conduct safe and effective Strike Force Training of the Atlantic Fleet."
The High Seas Fleet (Hochseeflotte) was the battle fleet of the German Imperial Navy and saw action during the First World War. The formation was created in February 1907, when the Home Fleet (Heimatflotte) was renamed as the High Seas Fleet. Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz was the architect of the fleet; he envisioned a force powerful enough to challenge the Royal Navy's predominance. Kaiser Wilhelm II, the German Emperor, championed the fleet as the instrument by which he would seize overseas possessions and make Germany a global power. By concentrating a powerful battle fleet in the North Sea while the Royal Navy was required to disperse its forces around the British Empire, Tirpitz believed Germany could achieve a balance of force that could seriously damage British naval hegemony. This was the heart of Tirpitz's "Risk Theory," which held that Britain would not challenge Germany if the latter's fleet posed such a significant threat to its own.
In the United States Navy, United States Coast Guard, United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (USPHS), and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps, captain is the senior-most commissioned officer rank below that of flag officer. The equivalent rank is colonel in the United States Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps.
The organization of the Kriegsmarine refers to the operational and administrative structure of the German Navy from 1935 to 1945. Many of the organizational tenets of the Kriegsmarine were inherited from its predecessor the Reichsmarine. As World War II unfolded, the Kriegsmarine expanded to cover additional regions and responsibilities, most significant of which was the occupation of France and the Battle of the Atlantic.