The U.S Navy on Friday formally reactivated the Cold War-era naval command it relied on for decades to confront adversaries in the waters off North America – the latest in a series of efforts to check Moscow's military expansion.

The move comes as Russian submarine activity surges in the Atlantic, according to POLITICO.

Read alsoU.S. warns partner against buying Russian submarines – media

The 2nd Fleet in Norfolk, Virginia, which was deactivated in 2011, will once again be assigned ships, aircraft and Marine landing forces for potential operations along the East Coast and in the North Atlantic, where melting Arctic ice has also heightened the competition for natural resources.

"We as a Navy, as a nation, have not had to confront such peer competitors since the Cold War ended nearly three decades ago," one of the Navy's top officers, Fleet Forces Command chief Adm. Chris Grady, said during a ceremony in Norfolk aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush.

"Our sea control and our power projection, two vital elements of our national security, are being challenged by resurgent foreign powers, namely Russia and China," he added.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson, who issued the order earlier this year to re-establish the 2nd Fleet, stressed that the Navy is not "looking for a fight." But he said realities demand that it maintain "a large-scale ocean maneuver warfare" unit in the Atlantic region.