Next Tuesday (19 August) A United States Atlantic Fleet nuclear powered task group is scheduled to depart from the Norfolk Naval base in Virginia, United States, for operations in northern European waters.
Next Tuesday (19 August) A United States Atlantic Fleet nuclear powered task group is scheduled to depart from the Norfolk Naval base in Virginia, United States, for operations in northern European waters. It will demonstrate U.S. naval power in support of NATO allies.
The task group is formed by the aircraft carrier "Nimitz" and the guided missile cruiser "South Carolina" -- two of the United States Navy's latest nuclear powered warships -- along with the nuclear powered attack submarine "Bluefish".
A spokesman for the U.S. Defence Department said the trip would show America's allies -- "and others" -- the capability and flexibility -- of the United States in the employment of maritime forces.
Later a spokesman for the United States Embassy to the United Kingdom confirmed that by "others" America meant the Soviet Union.
The Defence Department also said that the voyage would provide the vessels with the opportunity to operate together to gain experience as a task group.
The policy behind large warships like the "Nimitz" has come under fire from retired U.S. Rear Admiral Gene Laroque, who claims that while America is building bigger warships, the Soviet Union is "taking over" the world's merchant marine business.
However, in what could be a significant policy move, the U.S. Navy announced on Friday (15 August), that it is considering building a now class of low cost carrier, smaller than the "Nimitz" class.
But concern about the size and power of the Soviet Union's own navy has been increasing. Strategists suggest that already in the Mediterranean the United States Sixth Fleet faces an increasingly powerful threat from the Russians.