By mid-July, more than half of the ships of the US Navy are either deployed to various locations around the oceans or are underway to be deployed.
Out of a battle force of 290, 53 deployed ships are underway, 49 non-deployed ships are underway (for various trainings, etc. before being deployed). To be presented in an alternative way, 101 ships from various fleets are deployed in the near and far sea areas, according to USNI’s Fleet Tracker as of July 15th.
At the same time, there are six carrier assault groups (CSGs) deployed in the sea at the same time, taking into account the two deployed in forward basing.
This sort of configuration of the US Navy strike forces can be taken either as a show of force and a means to exert pressure on US opponents – especially Iran, or even the beginning of deployment of forces for a military campaign.
But this is only if the carrier group will move further into the ocean, and not return to base. According to previous US military campaigns, the American formula for war is known – five carrier groups are simultaneously deployed in one theater of military operations. The carrier groups that have now sailed into the sea will need 20-30 days to reach the Persian Gulf, if they are being deployed there.
Currently, five aircraft carriers remain at US naval bases in the United States – four in Norfolk on the Atlantic coast and one in the Pacific at Kitsap-Bremerton, Washington. Of the nine amphibious groups in the ports, four remain: three on the Pacific coast in the port of San Diego and one on the Atlantic in Port Mayport, Florida. One, the LHD-3 USS Kearsage, has just returned from the Middle East to the Norfolk base, Virginia.
The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group (CSG) is participating in Exercise Talisman Sabre 2019 (TS 19), a bilateral U.S./Australian training exercise, which will occur in the Coral Sea from July 11th to 24th. TS 19 will also include forces from New Zealand, Canada, United Kingdom and Japan. The Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, was aboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) in the Coral Sea on July 12th.
The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group departed Naval Station Norfolk, Va., on July 5 to begin its composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX) ahead of a deployment later this year.
The Harry S. Truman CSG consists of nine squadrons and detachments, and four guided-missile destroyers: USS Farragut, USS Forrest Sherman, USS Bulkeley, USS Arleigh Burke. The USS Normandy guided-missile cruiser is also part of the CSG, but had to return to port for repairs and then would rejoin.
Also, part of the CSG-8, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) is underway “conducting carrier qualifications while in the basic phase of the Optimized Fleet Response Plan.”
USS Bataan (LHD-5) is at sea conducting “Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) Integration Training (PMINT) in the vicinity of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, July 14, 2019.
PMINT is part of the 26th MEU’s and PHIBRON 8’s pre-deployment training program, which enhances interoperability and familiarizes Marines and Sailors to life on ship prior to deployment.”
The Pacific Ocean has the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier CSG 9, as well as the USS Nimitz supercarrier, and the USS America amphibious assault ship.
The USS Theodore Roosevelt CSG consists of nine squadrons and detachments and three guided-missile destroyers: the USS Russell, USS Kidd, and USS John Finn.
The US Nimitz SSG is reportedly underway for training.
The USS America is also underway for training.
Previously, the Navy announced “that the amphibious assault ship America and landing platform dock USS New Orleans (LPD-18) will become part of the U.S. 7th Fleet forward-deployed naval forces (FDNF) in Sasebo, Japan.”
Finally, in the advanced deployment in the Central Command as part of the Fifth Fleet of the US Navy, an aircraft carrier strike group currently operates with the USS Abraham Lincoln and the amphibious group with the USS Boxer. In the region of the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, these two groups are there to “deter” Iran. On July 18th, it was reported that the USS Boxer downed an Iranian drone, which Iran claims didn’t happen.
It should be noted that the USNI Fleet Tracker only provides major movements, “not shown are thousands of others serving in submarines, individual surface ships, aircraft squadrons, SEALs, Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Forces, Seabees, Coast Guard cutters, EOD Mobile Units, and more serving throughout the globe.”
On July 9, General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the United Command of the Marine Corps, stated that the United States “is now working with a number of countries to find out if they can create a coalition that would ensure freedom of navigation in both the Strait of Hormuz and the Bab al-Mandeb Strait.”
The Spanish frigate Mendez Nunez with the Aegis system on board was supposed to operate with the USS Abraham Lincoln CSG in the Persian Gulf, but as of mid-May it was recalled, since Spain said it didn’t want to be dragged into an accidental war.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- US Navy Deploys USS Boxer Amphibious Ready Group To Persian Gulf
- US Navy Wants To Mount Hypersonic Missile On Combat Ships
- A Week Of Provocations: New Drone And Tanker Incidents In Persian Gulf