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A T L A N T IC U N IT Y ____A N E C E S S IT Y

he freedom of the N o rth A t l a n tic Ocean is essential

to the overall defense of N A T O . The guardian of the

North A tlantic Area is NATO's A llied Command Atl antic.

The Allied Command Atlantic has been established to

operationally control the largest reservoir of naval

might the world has ever known An integrated navy of

highly trained and combat ready forces, A C LA N T is

continually on the o lert to insure the freedom and

integrity of the North A tla n tic A llia n c e .


NATO S GUARDIAN OF THE ATLANTIC

g IM P L Y stated, the prim ary task of And third, the loss of the seas
the Supreme Allied Commander At­ denies any advantage gained through
lantic (SACLANT) u n d e r w artim e atomic superiority ashore. These same
conditions is: "To guard the N orth g reat w aters, which touch the shores
A tlantic sea lanes for the NATO na­ of most of the 15 NATO nations, then
tions and deny the use of the North become the strategic area for direct
Atlantic Ocean area to any enemy." attacks on each of the N orth A tlantic
SACLANT’s responsibilities include full countries, as well as forces in the field.
protection of such im portant N orth At­
lantic islands as Iceland. Greenland, the Necessity for the protection of con­
Azores, Bermuda and the Faeroes, and voys is, of course, another vital reason
support of the land commanders of the for controlling the N o r t h A tlantic
North A tlantic Treaty O rganization. Ocean. The strategic reserve for the
ground forces in Europe m ust be safely
Several considerations must be kept
transported and landed on the con­
in mind by Allied Command A tlantic
tinent. Supplies of m any sorts m ust be
planners should there be a future war
available to the allied forces engaged
involving the NATO com plex; among
in combat. Massive logistics require
them, the following three are listed as
sea-lift capability. History has shown
most pertinent:
th at any enemy m ust strangle this life­
F irst, all the nations in Europe line in order to win on land. Staff
are dependent upon the heavy tonnage planning for the development and
of seaborne traffic by cargo, passenger, train in g of forces for the im portant
and tan k er shipB for their economic mission of protection of NATO mer­
support in peacetime and for their chant shipping takes on a high priority
reenforcem ent and survival in time of in the Allied Command A tlantic.
war.
Recent advances in m ilitary science
Second, if the U . S. and Canada
and weapons systems have made it all
were denied the use of the seas, they
would be diveBted of their allies and the more urgent th a t control of the
forced to retrea t to th eir own shore­ sea does not fall into enemy hands.
lines to fight un-aided from their con­ Seaborne weapons now exist which are
tinental bases. In short, the Alliance capable of striking not only our coasts
would be physically divided. but inland as well.
H eadquarters o f the Suprem e Allied Com m ander A tlan tic

THE ALLIED C OMMAND ATLANTIC

^ L L IE D Command A tlantic (abbrev­ deny to the enemy in the event of w ar.


iated ACLANT) was form ally acti­
vated in April 1952, three years after Nine of the 15 NATO nations con­
the birth of NATO. tribute to the forces and facilities th at
comprise the A tlantic Command. In­
cluded are elements from Canada, Den­
Geographically speaking, the area
m ark, France, The Netherlands, N or­
encompassing the A tlantic Command
way, Portugal, The U nited Kingdom,
extends from the N orth Pole to the and the U nited States. Iceland, which
Tropic of Cancer and from the coastal has no armed forces, contributes base
w aters of N orth America to those of facilities for this international Navy.
Europe and Africa. W ithin its fixed
boundaries, there are approximately 12 In the years following World W ar
million square miles of ocean area to II, units of NATO cruised the North
ALLIED COMMAND A TL A N T IC
SUPREME ALLIED
COMMANDER, ATLANTIC
DEPUTY SUPREM E
A L L IE D COM MANDER

C O M M A N D E R IN CHIEF COMMANDER C O M M A N D ER IN C H E F
WESTERN ATLANTIC AREA STRININE FLEET ATLANTIC EASTERN ATLANTIC AREA

C O M M A N D ER M ARITIME AIR
EASTERN ATLANTIC AREA
COMMANDER
COMMANDER
OCEAN
SO B AREA S U B M A R I N E TORCE
EASTERN ATLANTIC AREA

COMMANDER
NORTHERN
COMMANDER COMMANDER SUB AREA
C A N A D I A N A l l A N I IC NORTH AMERICAN COMMANDER
SUB AREA ANTI SU RM ARINE DEFENCE B A Y OE B I S C A Y
FORCE ATE A N I IC COMMANDER
SUBAREA
MARITIME AIR
NORTHERN SU B AREA
ISLAND COMMANDER
BERMUDA ISLAND COMMANDER
MADEIRA
COMMANDER
ISLAND COMM ANDER CENIRAl
SOB AREA ISLAND COMMANDER
CRE IN lA N D
ICELAND
COMM ANDER M ARITIME AIR
ISLAND COMM ANDER CENTRAI SUB AREA
ISLAND COMM ANDER
AZDRES
FAEROES

M ARITIM E A IR CH AIN O F COMMAND


A tlantic as instrum ents of their own m ander Striking Fleet A tlantic (COM-
country’s national strength, entirely in­ STRIKFLTLANT) who is a functional
dependent of one another. Should it be­ rath er than an area commander.
come necessary, these same units today
would serve together in a naval force CINCW ESTLANT and CINCEAST­
more powerful than the combined naval
LANT are responsible for executing
strength of the Allied and Axis powers
tasks assigned by SACLANT w ithin
of W orld W ar II.
th eir respective command areas. Their
m ain tasks are the control and pro­
Located in Norfolk, V irginia, the tection of allied shipping, denial of
headquarters of t h e Supreme Allied their area to the enemy, and the defense
Commander A tlantic is the first allied of the NATO coastline, w ithin their
m ilitary command to be perm anently area, from seaborne attack.
established on U nited S tates soil in
peacetime.
The EASTLANT command includes
a M aritime A ir Commander, who ad­
SACLANT’s headquarters is m anned vises CINCEASTLANT o f M aritim e
b y approxim ately 1 4 0 allied Army, A ir m atters and commands a Maritim e
Navy, Air Force and M arine officers, A ir Force in his behalf.
plus several civilian officials. Clerical
and guard duties are perform ed by en­
listed personnel of the U.S. Navy and T h e Allied Command A tlantic’s
M arine Corps. S triking F leet is a mobile, elusive a ir­
field complex, a t sea, with its own
offense, defense and support built in.
In peacetime the staff of the Su­ It is geared for any type of w arfare,
preme A l l i e d Commander provides from the so-called brush fire conflict
planning, evaluation and analysis of to nuclear w ar. The fleet would be well
intelligence, along w ith other functions dispersed against atomic attack and
necessary to m eet the responsibilities would cover an area about the size of
of the Commander under w artim e con­ the state of Maine. Because it is always
ditions. on the move it would not be subject
to pin-pointing for g u i d e d missile
attacks like stationary targ ets ashore.
The Allied Command A tlantic is
The S triking Fleet could project its
divided into t w o m ajor geographical
atomic offensive power rig h t into the
command areas — the W estern A tlantic
h eart of enemy naval bases and a ir­
A rea and the E astern A tlantic Area.
fields th at are the m ain source of
W ithin this broad fram ew ork there are
th reat to SACLANT’s control of the
three principal subordinate commanders
directly responsible to SACLANT. These A tlantic.
are: the Commander-in-Chief W estern
A tlantic A rea (CINCWESTLANT), the Activation of a third m ajor sub­
Commander-in-Chief E astern A tlantic ordinate area command, the Iberian
A rea (CINCEASTLANT) and the Com­ A tlantic Area, is under consideration.
THE THREAT

TMMEDIATELY following W orld W ar in the Soviet Navy does not detract


II, the Soviet Navy consisted of one from its potential for launching missile
or two old battleships, a handful of strikes against W estern territories and
ancient cruisers, some 200 submarines threatening our vital flow of shipping.
of various size and vintage and a small Needless to say, th e Soviet Navy,
obsolete naval air arm . D uring the 10 with the largest subm arine fleet ever,
years following, the Soviet Navy rose concentrates its m ain striking power
in size from seventh to second place in this underseas fleet. Several Soviet
am ong the navies of the world. And subm arines are known to be capable
today, the Soviet Navy is known to of launching ballistic missiles, a n d
have in operation a t least 25 modern furtherm ore, we have no reason to
cruisers, over 200 modern destroyers doubt Mr. Khrushchev’s claims th at
and escort vessels and more than 400 they have introduced nuclear propul­
submarines. T his large naval force is sion into some of th eir new er sub­
supported by a strong shore based naval m arines.
air arm composed of m o d e r n je t The Soviet Navy’s potential for
bombers and helicopters. launching missile strikes and challeng­
In a w ar between Communism and ing the free movement of ships in the
the Free World, the Soviet Navy, one A tlantic w ith subm arines, a irc ra ft and
of the m ost powerful in the world surface forces constitutes a very serious
today, would come to play an im portant th re a t to NATO. The A tlantic com­
part. I t is designed to challenge W est­ m and’s plan to combat this th re a t is
ern control and free use of the seas. focused on the m ilitary objective to
The non-existence of a irc ra ft carriers control th e N orth A tlantic.
mm
The N orth A t i- a n t ic C o v n c Ii.

is th c ch ic f authority o f .n a t o . It
is c o mposed o f representatives o f posed of the Chiefs-of-.StafT of
the fifteen member countries. It each mem ber country or their
representatives. T he Military
decidcs on a l l matters, both civil
Com m ittee sits in W ashington,
and military, concerning the A l­ IX C.

liance. All its decisions must be


taken unanimously. T h e seat o f
the C o uncil is in Paris.

The C o u n c il C o m m itte e s
advise the Council on speci­
fic. matters. Experts from all
n a t o countries take part in
the Com mittee meetings.
T here are committees on
military, political, economic,
scientific and m any other
civil questions.

The S u p rem e A llie d C o m m an d ers,


T h e S e c re ta ry is C hair­
G en eral The European Command covers the land undef the Standing Group, are respons­
m an o f the Council. He is assisted by area from the N orth C ape to N orth ible for the developm ent of defence
an International Staff draw n from Africa, and from the A tlantic to the plans for their respective areas, the
Eastern border of T urkey. The Atlantic determ ination o f force requirements
all n a t o countries. T hey are respon­
Ocean Command is responsible for the de­ and the deploym ent and exercise of the
sible to the Secretary G eneral only, forces under their com m and. T he C a­
fence of the sea lanes between N orth
and not to their own national govern­ America and Europe. The Channel Com­ nada-U S Regional Planning G roup
ments. T hey work at n a t o H ead­ mand covers the English C hannel and the develops plans for the defence of the
: / quarters in Paris. Southern N orth Sea. North Am erican continent.
<■
J L _ _
PLANNING A T SA C LANT

rp H E Soviet Union has built her naval tm s event the Allied S triking Fleet,
stren g th around a powerful sub­ w i t h its amphibious assault forces,
m arine fleet. Naval forces of the Allied would also be essential. Ship to shore
Command A tlantic have been developed and vertical envelopment amphibious
around the attack a irc ra ft carrier. Ele­ techniques have been highly developed
m ents from these forces are designed in the Allied Command naval force.
with the capability of striking all ta r ­
gets contributing to the enemy’s naval W ith the Soviet subm arine threat
strength. Today’s airc ra ft carrier is a playing such a dom inant role in naval
highly mobile and powerful air base a t w arfare planning, Allied Command A t­
sea. It is also an extremely evasive lantic’s naval forces have naturally
ta rg e t to locate dr attack. taken preventative m easures along this
line. The g reater p a rt of joint NATO
Allied Command A tlantic planning naval train in g maneuvers are centered
has necessarily considered the possi­ on developing modern anti-subm arine
bility of w ar involving nuclear ex­ forces for hunting and killing. The
change. However, there exists a possi­ ASW Team, consisting of ships, a ir­
bility th a t w ar, if it comes, m ight be craft and subm arines is a highly effec­
of the so-called conventional type. In tive combination which can move quickly
from one critical area to another to Alliance.
combat thia th reat.
Valuable assistance in the solving
A nti-subm arine w arfa re constantly of anti-subm arine w arfare problems is
presents new problems which require provided by an ASW research center
careful attention. As enemy submarines established by SACLANT a t La Spezia,
improve, the complex problem of seek­ Italy in 1959. H ere scientists and tech­
ing out and destroying them expands nicians, supported by ASW inform ation
accordingly. Keeping ahead of t h i s and data from participating nations,
th re a t is difficult but it is being met concentrate research into the problems
by the combined efforts of scientists, created and study tow ard advancement
industrialists and m ilitary men in the of equipm ent and techniques.

N aval Farces o f the Allied Command A tlan tic have been developed
around the A ttack A ircra ft Carrier
THE KEY TO EFFECTIVE DEFENSE

HIGH sta te of readiness is m ain­ readiness, for any type of w ar, has
tained by forces of the Allied Com­ been reached a n d tested through a
mand A tlantic. Although t h e basic variety of train in g exercises. Each
train in g and readiness of the several year the Allied Command A tlantic con­
ducts 10 to 14 combined fleet m aneuvers
naval components is a national respon­
designed to develop team work and to
sibility, it is necessary th at the Su­ apply common doctrine am ong several
preme Allied Commander when called participating navies. These train in g ex­
upon to 8top aggression has at his ercises range from sim ulated activities
disposal a naval force th a t is more in convoy routing and control, con­
than an assortm ent of national naval ducted solely from the headquarters in­
units. They m ust operate as one smooth- volved, t o full-scale carrier striking
working. thoroughly coordinated force. fleet m aneuvers with simulat ed nuclear
strikes, anti-subm arine w arfare opera­
During the past decade a state of tions, minesweeping exercises and the

U. S. a ircra ft being prepared fo r launch from British carrier during a


SACLANT training exercise
Canadian Maritime Patrol A ircraft

actual escort of convoys under condi­ the Allied Command Europe and the
tions of attack by “enemy” forces. Channel Command are capable.

Every other year a full-scale NATO- NATO’s forces a r e capable of


wide tra in in g exercise is held to test defeating aggression. By welding the
the team work a n d readiness of the experience and skill on the seas of the
forces and commands. Exercises such m aritim e nations of NATO into an in­
as these clearly dem onstrate the brand tegrated, highly trained naval force,
of coordinated and integrated w arfare we have in being, and immediately
of which the Allied Command A tlantic, available, a formidable team.

N e therlands and British destroyers prepare to refuel from British


fleet oiler during a S A C L A N T trainin g exercise.
TH« NATO COUNTRICS

o defend their liberty


T
1. B E L G I U M - 2. C A N A D A
3. D E N M A R K • 4. F R A N C E
S FED. REP. O F G E R M A N Y
«. G R E E C E . 7. I C E L A N D and way o f life against
B. I T A L Y • f. L U X E M B O U R G
10 NETHERLANDS
11. N O R W A Y . 12. P O R T U G A L the threat of Communist dom­
13. TURKEY
H.
1S.
UNITED K INGD OM
U N I T E D STATES
ination the democratic na­
tions of the West decided to
combine their resources and
united in.NATO, the North
Atlantic T reaty Organization.

O n April 4th, 1949, the N orth Atlantic T reaty


was signed by twelve countries. It contained
a clear warning to any would-be aggressor:
an attack against any of us shall be considered
an attack against us all. Three- years later
Greece and Turkey joined the Alliance, and
in 1955 the Federal R epublic of Germ any «»10 c o i m i i i i

became n a t o ’* fifteenth m em ber.


g s s m i n in e
These are the three main characteristics o f N A T O -
the North Atlantic Treaty O rga n ization:

N A T O Í» a defensive alliance. It preserve» peace by


discouraging aggression.

N A T O u more than a military alliance. It is


building a community of like-minded nations.

NATO is for disarmament subject to international


control.

Only the power ol retalia­


tion can discourage a
would-be aggressor. In the
atomic age war does not

Disarmament is suicide
unless there is international
control the touchstone of
a sincere desire for peace.

NATO rct'raim from the threat or use of force in


any '.namier inconsistent with the purposes of the
United Nations.
T h r o u g h NATO, the North Atlantic O c ean Area is a

bond for friendly commerce and mutual protecti on of the na­

tions who are joined fast in a sincere hope for world peace.

Through strength and singleness of purpose the waters of the

Atlantic will always be a bond between nations of good will.

I t is the intent of the Supreme Allied Commander

Atlantic that control o f these waters shall never pass from

the hands o f the nations which border its waters and de­

pend so much upon this ocean area for their freedom

and w ell-being.
10th. A n n lm m u
1962