US Makes Rare Location Disclosure of Nuclear Submarine
(DailyVantage.com) – Military operations require the utmost discretion, so officials rarely reveal asset locations. Yet, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) recently announced when one of its commanders paid a visit to a nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine, the “USS West Virginia.” Such visits are routine, but revealing the vessel’s location isn’t. Some people see this highly unusual move as a message to would-be aggressors.
On Wednesday, October 19, CENTCOM released photos showing General Michael “Erik” Kurilla onboard the “USS West Virginia.” The defense force made a point of revealing that the vessel was in the Arabian Sea, though it failed to disclose its exact location or precisely when the visit occurred.
Today the CENTCOM Commander embarked the USS West Virginia Ballistic Missile Submarine pic.twitter.com/fv98lYhD89
— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) October 19, 2022
Gen. Kurilla spoke about the vast capability of the “USS West Virginia,” calling it the “crown jewel” of the forces at sea. Typically, Ohio-class submarines can hold up to 24 warheads, but in recent times, the Navy has downsized the complement to 20 as part of an agreement with Russia, one of the likely targets of this pointed message.
The visit had its risks. For Gen. Kurilla to visit, the submarine had to surface. When exposed, the vessel loses maneuverability. Disclosing the sub’s location also hinders its intelligence-gathering capabilities, another downside.
Still, this isn’t the first time the Navy has used a submarine to remind adversaries the US is in the area and always watching.
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