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NAVAL STATION NORFOLK, Va. — The book will close on 65 years of naval history Friday when 2nd Fleet is disestablished in a ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk.
The closure, announced Jan. 6, is a budget-cutting move made on the heels of a 2010 Pentagon cost-cutting initiative, launched as the Iraq war began winding down and the U.S. economy continued faltering.
The move follows by about a month the Aug. 31 disestablishment of the Norfolk-based Joint Forces Command, also shuttered in an effort to save money.
Second Fleet's missions — providing trained and certified East Coast naval forces for worldwide deployment, maritime homeland defense, and command of eastern Atlantic and Caribbean contingencies such as humanitarian relief — now pass to Fleet Forces Command.
The merger eliminated 205 active duty billets — about 60 officer and 145 enlisteds — according to Fleet Forces Command. Those personnel were for the most part transferred to other billets on the merged staff, as part of normal personnel rotations, or to other billets in Hampton Roads, the command said.