Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

U.S. Navy planning to station attack submarines at Guam

U.S. Navy planning to station attack submarines at Guam

The U.S. Navy said yesterday it will base nuclear-powered attack submarines on the Pacific island of Guam for the first time, a step emphasizing the growing importance of Asia to the United States.
The USS City of Corpus Christi, a Los Angeles Class attack submarine with a crew of 150 sailors and officers, will arrive at the U.S. possession this month and be followed by two other submarines before year's end.
The Navy's announcement came as President George W. Bush considered whether to order a possible U.S. invasion of Iraq, but a Navy spokeswoman stressed the move had been planned since before Washington launched its war on terrorism in 2001.
It also came as the Air Force considered possible increases in its presence on Guam, where the U.S. military already has a major footprint. The island, located three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to the Philippines, served as a base for B-52 bombers during the Vietnam War.
The attack submarines are designed to pursue and attack enemy warships, but in recent years have become much more versatile with their ability to carry long-range cruise missiles for use against land targets.
U.S. defense officials told Reuters that the submarine shift was designed for efficiency because of the vast reaches of the Pacific Ocean, but was also in line with a Pentagon push to give the military a more visible forward presence in the Asia-Pacific region.
"We lost key air and naval bases in the Philippines several years ago and have been looking for ways to reclaim some of that presence," said one of the officials, who asked not to be identified.
Navy officials said the movement of the three submarines could double their mission days because they would no longer have to travel from the continental United States to arrive in patrol areas of the central and western Pacific.


Updated : 2021-10-18 13:07 GMT+08:00