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…US Navy sends ‘Chilling Message To China’;  Sends its fifth attack submarine to Guam in the midst of Beijing’s warfare.
The U.S. Navy announced on April 10 that the USS Annapolis, a fast-moving submarine, arrived at Guam Naval Base late last month, strengthening the service’s footprint in the Indo-Pacific.

The Los Angeles-class submarine arrived at the Port of Apra in Guam on March 28 after completing its voyage from Naval Base Point Loma in San Diego, according to to the statement issued by the U.S. Navy.

US Navy Attack Submarine

DCO Global News
Published on April 14, 2022
By Odoh Dominic Chukwuemeka

The Navy states that the move is necessary because of the Indo-Pacific security environment, which necessitates the deployment of the most skilled ships going forward.

China submarine

File image: China’s nuclear-powered Type 094A Jin-class ballistic missile submarine.

“This position allows for rapid responses to maritime and joint forces and brings our most capable ships and submarines with the greatest amount of strike force and operational capacity to carry in the most timely manner.”

Annapolis is the fifth Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine currently stationed at Guam, joining the USS Asheville, USS Key West, USS Jefferson City and USS Springfield. On March 21, the USS Springfield arrived in Guam a week before the USS Annapolis.

“I would like to personally give a warm Hafa Adai to the sailors and families of our fifth home-ported submarine on Guam, USS Annapolis,” Bagadm said. Benjamin Nicholson, Head of the Joint Region Marianas, in the announcement. Hafa adai is a greeting used by the Chamorro people of the Mariana Islands.

“Guam and the Mariana Islands are incredibly important to the overall defense of the region, and this additional capacity further underscores our commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” he added.

The Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine is one crucial part of the U.S. submarine force. While some of the early Los Angeles-class submarines have been taken out of service, they remain among the world’s quietest and most powerful submarines at present.

This may be one of the reasons why the US Navy has chosen to move some of its Los Angeles-class submarines to Guam. The Los Angeles class was started by the Sturgeon class and followed by the Seawolf class.

The Los Angeles class was designed and built to be quieter than its predecessors, while also carrying more modern sensor and weapon systems. These pioneering vessels were also built to operate under the polar ice sheet. Their diving aircraft are mounted at the bow of the ships rather than on the sails, and their sails are stronger to penetrate thick ice.

Guam, a strategically important island in the western Pacific Ocean of Micronesia, plays an increasingly important role in the controversial, difficult, almost equal rivalry environment. It is a crucial component of the US military presence in the Indo-Pacific. In its 2019 Indo-Pacific Strategy Report, The Pentagon stated that it would “modernize its position of strength” on the island.

The island serves as a tactical axis for all U.S. forces in the region, providing crucial theater operations and logistical support. Furthermore, it has some of the most important ammunition and fuel storage capabilities in the Indo-Pacific, as well as important information, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities and defense for the island.

Earlier this year, the USS Nevada, an Ohio-class nuclear-powered submarine carrying 20 Trident ballistic missiles and dozens of nuclear warheads, had docked at a naval base in the U.S. Pacific Island territory, which previously reported by EurAsian Times.

Despite U.S. frigates and destroyers routinely stationed in U.S. naval ports or friendly countries, this one strikes out because it was a nuclear submarine. It was the first time a ballistic missile submarine, known as a “boomer”, had visited Guam since 2016, and only the second time since the 1980s.

The United States likes to keep the information about its nuclear submarines secret. But making a port call signals a U.S. declaration of dominance and strength in the Indo-Pacific region.

“It sends a message – intentional or not: We can park 100 nuclear warheads on your doorstep and you will not even know it or be able to do much about it. And the reverse is not true and will not be in a for a while, ”Thomas Shugart, a former U.S. Navy submarine captain and now an analyst at the Center for a New American Security told CNN.

In addition, Andersen Air Force Base, which occupies most of the northern part of the island, is the only U.S. base in the western Pacific that is capable of storing heavy bombers for extended periods. During any potential conflict with China, Guam will be a critical place to monitor Beijing’s movements. Submarines departing from Guam’s naval base can dive quickly into the deep sea to avoid discovery.

In recent years, the United States has increased its deployments with its allies around Guam Island. The China factor is often considered the biggest driver behind this development.

Guam is also within range of China’s DF-26 medium-range ballistic missile, which can kill targets up to 3,400 miles away. It is no surprise that China has termed this missile the “Guam killer.”

China recognizes that the US base on Guam is the most serious obstacle to its goal of reuniting Taiwan. As a result, the Chinese military is in favor of a deterrent rather than an aggressive nuclear war strategy because it has only a few hundred nuclear weapons compared to the United States’ thousands.

To curb US movement, the DF-26 is the most crucial missile in its arsenal.

By Odoh Dominic Chukwuemeka

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