The United States has the world’s most capable navy, with a force projection power no other country has. This includes seven capable fleets, each with its own area of operations.

Arguably the most important fleets right now are the Sixth and Seventh fleet, with the former becoming increasingly detrimental to stability and force projection. With arising conflicts in the Sixth Fleet regional patrol, the US Navy will continue to be tested in an unpredictable world.

What is the Sixth Fleet?

Headquartered in Naples, Italy, the Sixth Fleet currently has 40 naval ships and 175 aircraft in its arsenal. The fleet incorporates Carrier Strike Group 1, which includes the USS George HW Bush.

There are eight task forces within the fleet, with Task Force 62 composed of 1800 Marines for the Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) with a Battalion Landing Team (BLT) as a subcomponent. With growing relations with Greece, the fleet has a growing presence in the strategically important naval facility in Souda Bay, Crete, Greece, which has become an ‘unsinkable aircraft carrier.’

Sixth Fleet Area of Operations

The Sixth Fleet overlooks the Mediterranean, Adriatic, and Libyan Seas. Being a base of operations for US forces across Europe, North Africa, and the Levant, the fleet and Carrier Strike Group represent a major logistical hub for stability and support for allied nations.

The United States has maintained a naval presence in the wider Mediterranean since the Barbary Wars, with a much larger and permanent deployment post WWII to disrupt Soviet attempts at spreading its ideology in the Cold War. The Sixth Fleet now represents a major deterrence towards Moscow’s renewed imperial ambitions. It has become even more important after Russia annexed Crimea when the peninsula is used purely for military purposes to project Russia’s navy into the Mediterranean.


The backdrop of the Yugoslav Wars brought an end to the wide-scale massacres in the Balkans, but the conflicts still remained with tensions rising over the past several years. Bosnia faces a continued uneasy and turbulent power-sharing agreement from the Dayton Accords, which have been slowly deteriorating.