Americans, by virtue of their advanced military and the Second Amendment, have very few worries when it comes to safety here in the homeland. Were any foreign nation arrogant enough to attempt a land invasion, they would almost certainly be beaten back to wherever they came from by a civilian militia so large that it would dwarf the populations of several other nations…combined.
But, if they came stealthily by sea, that could be another story altogether.
This is precisely the scenario that has one admiral concerned for the safety of the East Coast.
A senior U.S. Navy officer says that his service no longer considers the East Coast of the United States as an “uncontested” area or an automatic “safe haven” for its ships and submarines. This is a product of steadily increased Russian submarine activity in the Atlantic Ocean, including the deployment of more advanced and quieter types that can better evade detection.
U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Andrew “Woody” Lewis made these comments at a gathering the U.S. Naval Institute and the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank jointly hosted on Feb. 4, 2020. Lewis is the commander of the Navy’s 2nd Fleet, which the service reactivated in 2018 specifically to address the surge in Russia’s submarine operations in the Atlantic. This fleet, headquartered at Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads in Virginia, reached full operational capability in December 2019.
“Our new reality is that when our sailors toss the lines over and set sail, they can expect to be operating in a contested space once they leave Norfolk,” Lewis said. “Our ships can no longer expect to operate in a safe haven on the East Coast or merely cross the Atlantic unhindered to operate in another location.”
“We have seen an ever-increasing number of Russian submarines deployed in the Atlantic, and these submarines are more capable than ever, deploying for longer periods of time, with more lethal weapons systems,” he continued. “Our sailors have the mindset that they are no longer uncontested and to expect to operate alongside our competitors each and every underway.”
Lewis was unable to provide many more details regarding his concerns, which, in turn, made the silent threat of Russian subs seem far more ominous.