Common Core 104
Chain of Command
104.1 Discuss the dual chain of command for operating forces.
There is a dual chain of command to the operating forces:
An operational chain from the President, through the Secretary of Defense to a commander of a unified or specified command to the assigned operational forces.
- An administrative chain through the Secretary of the Navy and the Chief of Naval Operations to the operating forces.
In some cases, as with the Military Sealift Command, a portion of the operating forces may operate or be temporarily assigned directly under the CNO and outside the chain of command of the unified command structure. Operating forces are organized in a permanent fashion in the administrative chain of command. The operational chain of command is task-oriented and can be structured as necessary to meet operational requirements.
104.2 Discuss the following as they apply to the operational chain of command:
1. Unified/specified- Unified and specified commanders operate under the control and direction of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
A unified command is composed of elements of two or more services. It has a broad continuing mission, and has a single commander. The unified commands are:
Atlantic Command Pacific Command
- European Command Southern Command
- Central Command Readiness Command
A specified command has a broad continuing mission, but it is composed of forces from one service. There are three specified commands:
Strategic Air Command (SAC)
- Aerospace Defense Command (ADCOM)
- Military Airlift Command (MAC)
2. Fleet Commanders- Pacific and Atlantic Fleets include ships and craft classified and organized into commands by types, the titles of which are: training commands, surface forces, fleet marine forces, naval air forces, and submarine forces. Below are a list of Fleet Commanders:
CINCPACFLT Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet; commands the Third and Seventh Fleets
- CINCLANTFLT Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet; commands the Second Fleet
- CINCUSNAVEUR Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Naval Forces Europe commands the Sixth Fleet
3. Task Force Commander- This system, developed during World War II, further divides fleets into forces, groups, units, and elements. Each subdivision has a numbered designation and an appropriate communication call sign. A fleet numbering system is used. The Commander Sixth Fleet, would assign certain numbered task forces. This may include: A striking force, TF 60; an amphibious force, TF 61; a service force, TF 62, etc. Within each task force there may be further subdivisions, called task groups (TG). With this system, the task commander has a task force that is adaptable to any change in size.
4. Task Unit Commander- Task groups may be further subdivided into task units (TU). For example, TG 60.1 (the carrier group), may have a carrier unit designated TU 60.1.1.
104.3 Discuss the following as they apply to the administrative chain of command:
1. Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Currently: The Honorable Gordon R. England- A civilian in charge of the Department of the Navy. SECNAV is responsible for the policies and control of the Department of the Navy, including its organization, administration, operation, and efficiency.
2. Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Currently: Admiral Vern Clark- The CNO is the senior military officer of the Department of the Navy and outranks all other naval officers (unless a naval officer is serving as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff). The CNO is the principal advisor to the President and SECNAV on the conduct of war, and he/she is the principal naval advisor and executive of the Secretary of the Navy on conduct of Department of the Navy activities. As the Navy representative on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the CNO keeps the SECNAV informed on the Joint Chiefs of Staff activities and is responsible to the President and the Secretary of Defense for duties external to the Department of the Navy as prescribed by law. The CNO commands the Chiefs of the Naval Material Command and Bureaus, the operating forces of the Navy, and shore activities as assigned by the SECNAV.
3. Fleet Commander in Chief (CINC)- Pacific and Atlantic Fleets include ships and craft classified and organized into commands by types, the titles of which are: training commands, surface forces, fleet marine forces, naval air forces, and submarine forces.
The Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet (CINCPACFLT), commands the Third and Seventh Fleets.
- The Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet (CINCLANTFLT), commands the Second Fleet.
- The Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Naval Forces, Europe (CINCUSNAVEUR), commands the Sixth Fleet.
4. Naval Air Force Commander (Type Commander/Aircraft Controlling Custodian)- The Naval Air Force Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet (CDRAIRPAC) and Naval Air Force Commander U.S. Atlantic Fleet (CDRSIRLANT), are directly below Commander-in-Chief, Pacific or Atlantic Fleet, in the organizational chain of command. The Commander is usually a Vice Admiral in rank.
Type Commanders are in command of a certain type of squadron. They may be in command of VA, VAW, VS, VR, HS, HC, VX, etc. type commands.
Aircraft Controlling Custodians are the individual command or squadron Commander. Such as the Commanding Officer of VR-60, or the Commanding Officer of HCS-4.
5. Functional Wing Commander- Wing Commanders are responsible for the aircraft material readiness, adminsitration, training, and inspection of squadrons under their command.
6. Type Squadron Commander- Type Squadron Commanders are responsible for the maintenance and material condition of aeronautical equipment assigned to their cognizance for the operation and support of the naval aviation mission. Additionally, they coordinate the Naval Aviation Maintenance Plan (NAMP) in the operating and training forces.
104.4 Discuss the role of the following:
Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Currently: Terry
The MCPON is the Navy's senior enlisted member. Assigned to the
office of the CNO for a three-year duty, he or she serves as senior
enlisted representative of the Navy and acts as the senior enlisted
advisor to the CNO and the Chief of Naval Personnel in all matters
pertaining to enlisted personnel.