While conventional wisdom from highly suspect armchair admirals have made dire predictions of war against North Korea or Iran by the United States,
the real activity taking place is getting virtually no coverage. This post is designed to highlight actual events taking place worth noting over the
next few months.
Later this month the US Military intends to stand up an Africa Command
. The details
have been kept secret (so much for a reliable media), but I think the clues are there. Anytime the US gives a country an
18 million dollar radar for free
, you have to be a fool
to believe it is actually 'for free.' Expect the command to be located at Sao Tome and Principe, which is ideal in terms of a strategic location,
considering it is close to Nigeria and a short trip to Brazil, two countries expected to export large quantities of offshore oil next year as new
offshore rigs come online.
Have you been to Guam before? What about lately? It is unbelievable how much construction is taking place on that island, not just military but
infrastructure as well. If you see any news item on Guam, be careful to watch the details, because the US Military is expanding its arsenal there.
Whether it is USAF Global Hawks
, come next April Guam is looking to be a major forward base for the US Military.
While it is true the Eisenhower CSG
deployment is a regularly scheduled
deployment, not everything was reported publicly regarding the deployment. The Navy goes out of its way to list the ships that deployed with the USS
Eisenhower, including the USS Anzio (CG 68), USS Ramage (DDG 61), USS Mason (DDG 87), and USS Newport News (SSN 750). As usual, the Navy forgets to
mention one small detail, the USS Minneapolis St. Paul (SSN 708)
was also deployed with the
group. I guess it never hurts to have more ears in the water, but it is somewhat interesting none of the local media reported it.
As has been widely reported, the US Pacific Fleet has rededicated its focus on Anti-Submarine Warfare. Most of the activity has been centered around
Pearl Harbor. Basically, every Pacific fleet deployment this year goes straight out of port to Pearl Harbor and does ASW training. What is interesting
is, the Boxer ESG
that recently deployed didn't train with the HSWMS Gotland
like every other Pacific group did, but it did deploy with the Canadian frigate HMCS Ottawa (FFH 341) and the Coast Guard Cutter Midgett (WHEC 726).
The addition of the coast guard and allies is part of the creativity taking place in the US Pacific Fleet, and it will likely be highlighted in the
media in January 07 when the Stennis CSG
deploys. There are a couple of
interesting things about the Stennis. First, the HSWMS Gotland has been integrated completely into the Carrier Strike Group so far, meaning the entire
workup includes the conventional sub. There is speculation it 'could' deploy with the Stennis CSG. Also interesting about the Stennis CSG is the
addition of a 3rd DDG, the USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60). The USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60) is one of the main US Navy ships used in the
US Navy Ballistic Defense Program.
to the group isn't an accident, and its addition will make the Stennis CSG the most powerful US Navy strike group ever deployed in history, able to
carry numerically more and a larger variety of weapons than any Navy task force in history.
What to Watch For
There are signs to watch for that armchair admirals doing Naval analysis for upcoming war are apparently ignoring, but these signs will signal
something 'might' happen.
The US Navy has deploying new unmanned systems, deployed from platforms like the
, Amphibious Assault
, and specific DDGs
special configurations have been made on those ships for communication and deployment of unmanned systems, above and below water. In particular, watch
for the deployments of DDG-91 through DDG-96
of which carry 4 UUVs specifically designed for minesweeping. That capability makes those 6 ships the best suited ships for clearing the Persian Gulf.
It should be noted that the USS James E. Williams (DDG 95) is just completing a surge tour, on its way home.
Finally, it should be noted that the US Navy currently has a usually large number of frigates deployed, instead of DDGs. There are currently 3 FFGs in
the NATO standing force areas, 3 deployed off South America, and another deployed to the south Pacific... and that doesn't even include the USS
Nicholas (FFG 47) deployed with the Enterprise CSG. This is interesting for a few reasons, first the Oliver Hazard Perry frigates had their
missile systems removed in 2003
. Since Harpoons were fired from the SM-1
launchers, the frigates are basically a gun and 2 helicopters, plus self defense... hardly a ship of war compared to most USN warships. Second, this
means the US Navy will have plenty of DDGs to deploy in early 2007, including several of the latest models commissioned over the past 18 months.
Considering this coincides with the first potential SSGN deployments, the addition of a large order of Litening II pods coming online, and the
timeframe the new Tactical Tomahawk system comes online in numbers beyond 4000, the USN and USAF will suddenly have a lot of strike systems available
early next year.