Naval fleet


Naval fleet
A rare occurrence of a 5-country multinational fleet, during Operation Enduring Freedom in the Oman Sea. In four descending columns, from left to right: ITS Maestrale (F 570), FS De Grasse (D 612); USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), FS Charles De Gaulle (R 91), FS Surcouf (F 711); USS Port Royal (CG-73), HMS Ocean (L 12), USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67), HNLMS Van Amstel (F 831); and ITS Luigi Durand de la Penne (D 560).

A fleet, or naval fleet, is a large formation of warships, and the largest formation in any navy. 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 only 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.

See list of fleets for individual fleets.

The modern fleet

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.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force — The 42 ships of the Military Sealift Command s Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force are the supply lines to U.S. Navy ships at sea. These ships provide virtually everything that Navy ships need, including fuel, food, ordnance, spare parts, mail and other… …   Wikipedia

  • Fleet Marine Force — Seal of the Fleet Marine Force. Active December 7, 1933 present Country …   Wikipedia

  • Naval Service (Ireland) — Naval Service An tSeirbhís Chabhlaigh Emblem of the Naval Service Founded September 1946[1] …   Wikipedia

  • Naval Surface Warfare Center Port Hueneme — Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division (NSWC PHD), a component of the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), is a tenant command located at Naval Base Ventura County in Port Hueneme, California. In addition to its primary location at… …   Wikipedia

  • Fleet — may refer to:Places Fleet is a geographical name: *Fleet, a village in Dorset, England, sited on The Fleet, a lagoon *Fleet, in the county of Hampshire, England * a Fleet, in Kent, inlet, creek, a name for saline waterways in the Thames marshes * …   Wikipedia

  • Naval warfare — Sea power redirects here. For the magazine, see Seapower. The French (left) and British (right) lines at the Battle of Chesapeake Warfare …   Wikipedia

  • Fleet action — A fleet action is a naval engagement involving combat between forces that are larger than a squadron on either of the opposing sides. Fleet action is defined by combat and not just manoeuvring of the naval forces strategically, operationally or… …   Wikipedia

  • Naval Station Mayport — Coordinates: 30°23′31″N 081°25′25″W / 30.39194°N 81.42361°W / 30.39194; 81.42361 …   Wikipedia

  • Fleet problem — Photo aérienne du Fleet Problem XIX en 1938 Fleet problem est le terme employé par l United States Navy pour décrire chacun des vingt et un grand exercices navals américains menés entre 1923 et 1940. Ils étaient numérotés avec des chiffres… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Naval Overseas Transportation Service — Emblem des Military Sealift Command Das Military Sealift Command (MSC) ist die Seetransportkomponente des US Transportation Command und gehört zur US Navy. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Allgemein …   Deutsch Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.