With the arrival of an unknown Virginia class submarine this morning, three American submarines have now visited Faslane since the start of July.
While visits themselves are common, this frequency of visits is not common. Neither is it common for visits to be publicised by the U.S. Navy or Royal Navy unlike the visit of the USS Rhode Island, a Trident-armed nuclear submarine, that arrived (and departed) earlier this month.
A few days ago, the USS Georgia (equipped with an underwater launch system for special forces) joined the USS Rhode Island in visiting Faslane naval base near Glasgow in Scotland, arriving not long after the Rhode Island had left. The USS Georgia, like the USS Rhode Island, is an Ohio-class submarine. Unlike Rhode Island, however, she was converted to a cruise missile submarine from a ballistic missile submarine.
Another wet, murky morning. First time I’ve heard a passing submarine blow its horn. US Virginia class submarine inbound on the Clyde today 🇺🇸 @usnavy @royalnavy #faslane #virginiaclass #submarine #submariners #navy #naval #military #shipping pic.twitter.com/YMsazpolr6
— Sheila Weir (@SheilaLWeir) July 12, 2022
The U.S. Navy said that this port visit to Faslane reflects the United States’ “commitment to our allies and partners in the region and complements the many exercises, training, operations, and other military cooperation activities conducted by Strategic Forces to ensure they are available and ready to safely and effectively operate around the globe at any time”.
The last time a U.S. Navy SSBN conducted a port visit to Faslane was when USS Alaska (SSBN 732) visited in July 2019.
“This port visit strengthens the U.S./U.K. cooperation and Rhode Island’s forward presence demonstrates our capability, flexibility, and continued commitment to NATO allies.”