Welcome to the CavasShips Podcast with Christopher P. Cavas and Chris Servello…a weekly podcast looking at naval and maritime events and issues of the day – in the US, across the seas and around the world. This week…China and Russia are not only building more submarines, but their subs are getting better all the time. How does the US Navy fight back? Noted naval analyst Bryan Clark returns to the podcast to talk about his newest anti-submarine warfare study, which recommends, among other things – making more noise in the water.
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This Week’s Naval Round Up:
The deployed aircraft carriers RONALD REAGAN and NIMITZ operated together June 9 in the Philippine Sea in what was called a Multiple Large Deck Event. The formation included the Japanese helicopter carrier IZUMO, French frigate LORRAINE and Canadian frigate MONTREAL and support ship ASTERIX.
In the European theatre, the carrier GERALD R FORD passed through the Strait of Gibraltar June 15 to enter the Mediterranean Sea for the first time. FORD, on her first operational deployment, was previously operating with her strike group off Norway.
The annual BALTOPS NATO exercise wrapped up June 16 after more than two weeks of operations in the Baltic Sea. More than 50 ships took part along with multiple unmanned vehicles.
The Indonesian-led Komodo Multilateral Naval Exercise took place around Makassar, South Sulawesi in Indonesia from June 4 through 8. The exercise was notable in that warships from China, Russia and the US, among other nations, all took part. The littoral combat ship MANCHESTER represented the United States, while China was represented by the destroyer ZHANJIANG and frigate XUCHANG.
The MAKIN ISLAND Amphibious Ready Group returned to San Diego June 8 after a seven-month deployment to the western Pacific with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit. The assault ship MAKIN ISLAND and amphibious transport docks ANCHORAGE and JOHN P MURTHA made up the three-ship group.
USS CHARLESTON returned to San Diego June 14 after a 26-month deployment to the western Pacific, the longest such cruise for a littoral combat ship. Other than one photo, the Navy put out no press release for the return, despite the accomplishments of the ship and her blue and gold crews.
In New Ship News: the attack submarine IOWA SSN-797 was christened June 17 in a ceremony at General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton, Connecticut. The IOWA is a Block IV Virginia-class submarine funded in fiscal 2016, when delivery was scheduled for August 2021.
And a keel ceremony was held at Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama June 16 for the littoral combat ship PIERRE LCS 38, the last littoral combat ship under construction for the US Navy. Along with the PIERRE, two more LCSs, the KINGSVILLE LCS 36 and CLEVELAND LCS 31, are still under construction and awaiting delivery, the CLEVELAND from Lockheed Martin.