Show and Tell: The Navy Will Reveal Where Its Ohio Submarines Are Lurking

Show and Tell: The Navy Will Reveal Where Its Ohio Submarines Are Lurking

Given the submarine’s incredible lethality and difficulty with which they can be detected and tracked, it would appear likely that the messaging surrounding their movement is designed to deter America’s enemies

 

In what could be a show of force, the United States Navy appears intent to deter the American adversaries by publicly announcing where their Ohio-class submarines are operating.

One of the United States Navy’s Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines, the USS Rhode Island, made a port stop at Gibraltar for what the Navy called a scheduled port visit.

 

“This brief stop in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe area of operations demonstrates the flexibility and adaptability submarines bring to U.S. and allied forces in the region,” explained the U.S. Navy statement covering the visit. It added, “the last time a U.S. Navy SSBN conducted a port visit to Gibraltar was USS Alaska (SSBN 732) in June 2021.”

The statement also explained, “prior to her port visit to Gibraltar, Rhode Island visited His Majesty’s Naval Base (HMND) Clyde, Scotland (Faslane) for a scheduled port visit in July 2022.”

Rhode Island’s port visit to Gibraltar reinforces our ironclad commitment to our allies and partners in the region. The U.S. and U.K. share a strong history of cooperation, through exercises, operations, and cooperation activities such as this, that enhance our combined capabilities and partnership,” said Captain John Craddock, the commander of Task Force 69.

“The complexity, lethality, and tactical expertise of Rhode Island epitomizes the effectiveness and strength of the submarine force.”

The U.S. Navy statement explained that the USS Rhode Island is homeported at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in Georgia and is one of six Ohio-class submarines stationed there.

This latest admission of an Ohio-class submarine’s location comes on the heels of a previously publicly-announced operation in the Arabian Sea by the USS West Virginia. Given the submarine’s incredible lethality and difficulty with which they can be detected and tracked, it would appear likely that the messaging surrounding their movement is designed to deter America’s enemies and, in particular, Russia and Iran.

With the flames of war still alight in Europe and Russian disinformation sowing fear of nuclear war, American allies in Europe are looking for assurances of American support to deter Russia’s aggression. As the backbone of America’s strategic nuclear deterrence, the Ohio-class plays a critical role in American national security and significantly contributes to NATO and European national security.

“For over 80 years, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-U.S. Naval Forces Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) has forged strategic relationships with allies and partners,” the U.S. Navy statement reads, “leveraging a foundation of shared values to preserve security and stability.”

Caleb Larson is a multimedia journalist and defense writer with the National Interest. A graduate of UCLA, he also holds a Masters of Public Policy and lives in Berlin. He covers the intersection of conflict, security, and technology, focusing on American foreign policy, European security, and German society for both print and radio. Follow him on Twitter @calebmlarson

Image: Reuters