Tag Archives: USS San Francisco

South Korea & U.S. carry out naval drills with nuclear attack submarine

South Korean and U.S. forces have been carrying out naval drills in seas around the peninsula with a nuclear attack submarine as part of their annual exercise, military sources said Wednesday, in a show of power against North Korea’s threat of nuclear attack.
The two-month field training, called Foal Eagle, has been in full swing to test the combat readiness of the allies, amid high tension on the Korean Peninsula in light of a torrent of bellicose rhetoric by North Korea. It kicked off on March 1 and runs through April 30.

U.S. nuclear attack submarine USS Cheyenne (SSN 773) is anchored at the southeastern port city of Busan on March 20, 2013.

The U.S. nuclear attack submarine USS Cheyenne (SSN 773) has been carrying out anti-submarine drills since March 13 along the east and south coasts of the peninsula, according to military officials.

“Cheyenne is carrying out anti-submarine drills with South Korea’s Navy east and south of the peninsula,” a military source said, asking for anonymity. “Although it doesn’t carry nuclear missiles, it has long-range cruise missiles that attack ground targets from the sea.”
Although the U.S. navy has sent its nuclear submarines in past drills, military equipment capable of delivering nuclear weapons mobilized in this year’s drill, such as the B-52, have drawn keen attention after Pyongyang threatened a pre-emptive nuclear strike against Seoul and Washington in the wake of U.N. sanctions over its recent nuclear test.
The South Korean Navy deployed an Aegis destroyer, corvettes and submarines as well as anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft to take part in the maneuvers aimed at detecting submerged threats, officials noted.
USS San Francisco (SSN-711), a 6,800-ton Los Angeles-class submarine, in early February participated in a highly publicized joint drill with the South Korean Navy, seen as attempts to send a strong message to the North, which was preparing for its third nuclear test.
In response to the North’s threats of nuclear attack, the Pentagon last week announced the plan to step up its missile defense system against the North and reaffirmed its commitment to provide extended nuclear deterrence on the Korean Peninsula.
During his visit to Seoul on Monday, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter promised every possible resource to provide a nuclear umbrella for its ally, revealing that the nuclear-capable B-52 would join the flight training mission on Tuesday.
After the B-52 returned to its Guam base, Pyongyang on Wednesday vowed military action if the U.S. deploys the B-52 again on the peninsula.
North Korea has a large fleet of submarines, and one of them torpedoed a South Korean Navy warship, the Cheonan, in the Yellow Sea on March 26, 2010, according to the conclusion of an international investigation. A total of 46 sailors were killed.
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USS San Francisco arrives in S. Korea

U.S. nuclear-powered submarine arrives in S. Korea for joint drill
A U.S. nuclear-powered submarine arrived in the southeastern port city of Jinhae for joint naval drills with South Korea, military officials said Friday, in a move seen as a warning to North Korea ahead of what may be an imminent nuclear test.

USS San Francisco (SSN-711), a 6,800-ton Los Angeles-class submarine, has been anchored at a naval base in Jinhae, 410 kilometers southeast of Seoul, since Thursday to prepare for joint drills slated for next week, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.

A 9,800-ton cruiser equipped with missiles and torpedoes as well as naval combat helicopters also arrived in the southern port city of Busan, on the same day, it said.

USS SAn Francicos (SSN-711) anchored at a naval base in Jinhae for joint drills with South Korea ahead of North Korea’s planned nuclear test. (Yonhap)

The port call came as tensions rose on the Korean Peninsula after the North last month warned of a nuclear test in response to the U.N. Security Council’s increased sanctions on Pyongyang for its December rocket launch.

A new nuclear test would mark the North’s third since two previous tests in 2006 and 2009.

The two U.S. ships and 10 Korean warships, including Aegis destroyers and battle ships, will carry out the joint exercises in the East Sea to test combat readiness between the two sides, the JCS said, though a specific date has not yet been confirmed.

In a visit to the naval base in Jinhae, JCS Chairman Jung Seung-jo said Thursday the North has nearly completed its preparations for a nuclear test at its Punggye-ri testing location, noting increased activity spotted by satellites near the nuclear site.

“We are closely looking into whether (increased activity) is a manipulating tactic or preparations for a nuclear test indeed,” Jung told reporters, during a tour of the submarine. “The North is ready to conduct an atomic test at any time if the leadership makes a decision.”

Jung Seung-jo, the Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, visits a naval base in the southeastern city of Jinhae. (Yonhap)

Although U.S. nuclear-powered submarines have occasionally made port calls in the past, Jung said the latest visit is “meaningful because it is for joint drills.”

“The upcoming drill, which had already been planned, is not targeted for (North Korea’s) nuclear test,” Jung told reporters, adding that the exercise is aimed at coping with possible North Korean provocations involving submarines.

Jung did not elaborate when the two sides had agreed on the exercise plan.

Military officials in Seoul expect the exercise will show their determination to respond sternly if the communist nation defies a chorus of international warnings.

“Although it is a pre-planned exercise, this upcoming joint drill will send a message to North Korea that any misbehavior will not be overlooked,” the official said, asking for anonymity due to sensitivity of the issue.

After the North warned of “substantial and high-profile important state measures,” senior military officials have visited front-line units to order vigilance in an effort to add pressure on the isolated state to drop the test plan, which is feared to raise tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

In a meeting with top security ministers Thursday, President Lee Myung-bak warned of “grave consequences” if Pyongyang moves forward with the test, urging the defense minister, spy chief and national security advisers to maintain strong military preparedness against any provocations from the North.
About 28,500 American troops are stationed in South Korea as a deterrence against North Korea, after the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

Submarine USS San Francisco leaves on deployment

The 361-foot San Francisco was built at Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia.

The 361-foot San Francisco was built at Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia. US Navy

The fast attack submarine San Francisco left Point Loma Tuesday for a six-month deployment to the western Pacific, says the Navy. The boat, commissioned 31 years ago, went to sea with a crew of roughly 140 sailors. The Navy said San Francisco’s mission involves “maritime security, forward presence, sea control, and power projection.”

The San Francisco has been homeported here since 2009. The boat was moved to Point Loma after it underwent a bow replacement that became necessary after the San Francisco slammed into an underwater seamount more than 400 miles southwest of Guam in 2005.

San Francisco is one of six Los Angeles-class nuclear-powered submarines homeported at Point Loma. One of those boats, the Topeka, just arrived at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine for a three year overhaul. Earlier this year, Topeka completed a 35,000 mile mission in the western Pacific.

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The 361-foot San Francisco was built at Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia.

The Topeka arrives at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine. US Navy

The 361-foot San Francisco was built at Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia.

The Point Loma-based Jefferson City underway recently. US Navy

Source – UT San Diego