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Page 8 text:
Allied Command Atlantic
On April 10, 1952, three years after the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty in Washington, D. C.,
NATO's Allied Command Atlantic fACLANTJ was established in Norfolk, Virginia.
This combined command is the only major NATO military command headquartered in North America
and was the first allied maritime command to be established on that continent.
The command's area of responsibility includes more than 12 million square miles of Atlantic Ocean
stretching from the coastal waters of Europe to those of North America and from the North Pole to the
Tropic of Cancer.
The staff is constantly engaged in planning and conducting a large variety of exercises that vary from
those of large scale involving thousands of men and large numbers of ships and aircraft, to rather small
scale exercises of opportunity.
SACLANT Headquarters in Norfolk Virginia
Page 7 text:
After World War II the nations of the western world hastened to recapture the atmosphere and good feelings
of peace The Soviet Union however decided to keep the territories gained during the war and to maintain
a large standing military organization
During the next three years the Soviet Union continued their expansionist program in Europe
By 1949 12 nations of the west fearful of this expansion banded together to form the defensive alliance
' y 7
1 1 1
called the North Atlantic Treaty Organization QNATOJ. Three additional nations joined the alliance by 1955.
In the unity thus created, the nations of the western world have thwarted Soviet aims. Since 1949, not one
square foot of European territory outside the Warsaw Pact countries has fallen to the Soviets.
Although primarily a military organization, NATO also encompasses cooperation in the fields of politics,
economics, the sciences, and social studies.
NATO's defense strategy is based on deterrence and flexible response, recognizing that adequate conven-
tional forces are necessary for this flexibility of response. But if NATO ever has to fight, it has failed
in a sense, for its primary aim is to deter war by maintaining peace through strength.
The peace which has been maintained by the Alliance in the NATO area is threatened today more than
ever by the continuous and increasing build-up in military power by the Soviet Union.
In the past ten years, the Soviets have turned to the world's oceans to gain strategic, political, and eco-
nomic strength. With the largest submarine fleet ever assembled in peacetime and a modern, rapidly ex-
panding Navy which is global in operations, the challenge to the free world has increased rather than
Page 9 text:
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The exercises which involve the entire Allied Command Atlantic afford the NATO navies opportunities
to work together, enhance readiness, develop common tactics and to test equipment. Numerous command
post exercises are also held to enable various NATO staffs and member nations to work together and
develop common procedures.
Although the only NATO maritime force assigned to the Allied Command Atlantic is the Standing Naval
Force Atlantic QSTANAVFORLANTJ, history's first permanent international naval squadron, member
countries have additional maritime forces earmarked for assignment in time of need.
Standing Naval Force
The Standing Naval Force Atlantic KSTANAVFORLANTJ is the world's first permanent multi-national
naval squadron to operate together in peacetime. This force operates as one unit, bound by the common
purpose of serving as NATO's maritime spearhead in preserving the free access to North Atlantic waters.
STANAVFORLANT is composed of between four and nine destroyer or frigate type ships, operating as
one unit on a continuous basis. Ships of various nationalities will normally remain with the squadron for a
period up to six months. They are then relieved by a unit of the same nationality or a vessel from another
NATO naval member.
Commanding the squadron is a commodore who is selected annually from one of the countries contributing
ships to the force. The commodore is aided by a staff of officers who are also provided by participating
Overall command of STANAVFORLANT is exercised by the Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic, from Nor-
folk, Virginia. The Commander in Chief, Eastern Atlantic Area, .with headquarters at Northwood, England,
controls the force when operating in European waters.
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