The Sixth Fleet has dominated the military scene on and over Mediterranean waters for over 30 years. In spite of dramatic political, economic, and military changes in the region, the avowed purposes of the fleet's presence have remained remarkably constant. They include deterring aggression against Western Europe by being prepared to launch either conventional or nuclear weapons strikes under either Nato auspices or under US aegis alone.
Breemer, Jan S.
"De-Committing the Sixth Fleet,"
Naval War College Review: Vol. 35
, Article 7.
Available at: http://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/nwc-review/vol35/iss6/7