South Atlantic Force (SOLANT) was renamed United States Naval Forces Southern Command (USNAVSO) on February 17, 2000 and headquartered at Naval Station Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico. It later relocated to Naval Station Mayport, Florida in early 2004. USNAVSO serves as a main link between the U.S. Navy and the navies of South America, Central America, and the Caribbean, and is at the forefront of U.S. engagement in the Western Hemisphere. The command consolidates functions previously conducted by the former Western Hemisphere Group, Mayport, Florida and former SOLANT, Naval Station Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico. USNAVSO was built around the core of SOLANT, which was originally established on September 3, 1942, and eventually headquartered at Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico in 1973. SOLANT had participated in annual “UNITAS” deployments around South America since 1960 and routinely deployed to Africa for the West African Training Cruise since 1980.
In addition to UNITAS, USNAVSO participates in Navy and joint exercises, counter-illicit trafficking operations, port visits, humanitarian missions, disaster relief and protocol events. USNAVSO exercises military command and control of all assigned/allocated ships and units, and serves as the Navy component command to U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) with respect to naval matters in the region.