Is the US Navy gathering off China to watch the Olympics?

687


These are the approximate positions of the U.S. Navy’s deployed carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups throughout the world as of Jan. 18, 2022, based on Navy and public data. In cases where a CSG or ARG is conducting disaggregated operations, the chart reflects the location of the capital ship.

The risk of war over Taiwan is at its highest since the 1996 cross-strait missile crisis, a mainland foreign relations expert has warned.

Shi Yinhong, professor of international relations at Beijing’s Renmin University, noted how tensions in the Taiwan Strait have steadily escalated amid growing US support for Taiwan. Beijing sees the self-ruled island as a breakaway province and has made reunification a much more pressing goal in recent years.

This goal – which Beijing aims to achieve within a decade – could mean a massive use of force, or the threat of a massive use of force, Shi told an international relations forum in Beijing today.

Concerns over a possible war in the strait have grown since last year, with a top US commander warning that the People’s Liberation Army could invade Taiwan within six years, and the Taiwanese defence minister saying cross-strait tensions were at their worst level in 40 years as he warned of the risks of an accidental strike.

Also at the Beijing forum, Zhu Feng, a professor of international relations at Nanjing University, warned that the Taiwan issue might become a flashpoint in the Sino-US strategic rivalry, as Beijing sees the US trying “to force China into a corner” by repeating the tactics it used against the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

Total U.S. Navy Battle Force:

296

Ships Underway

Deployed Ships UnderwayNon-deployed Ships UnderwayTotal Ships Underway
61970

Ships Deployed by Fleet

Fleet Forces3rd Fleet4th Fleet5th Fleet6th Fleet7th FleetTotal
002132077112

In Yokosuka, Japan

USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) is in port in Yokosuka, Japan.

In the Philippine Sea

Concentration of American naval power: America Expeditionary Strike Group, Essex Amphibious Ready Group, Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group and Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group are underway in Philippine Sea.

America Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG)

The amphibious ships of the America Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) are USS America (LHA-6), USS Green Bay (LPD 20) and USS Ashland (LSD-48). Elements of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) are embarked. The ESG departed on Jan. 14 from Sasebo, Japan, for a patrol in the Western Pacific.

Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group

Aircraft carrier
USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70), homeported in San Diego, Calif.

Carrier Air Wing 2

Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, based at Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif., is embarked aboard Carl Vinson and includes a total of nine squadrons and detachments:

  • The “Argonauts” of VFA-147 Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) flying F-35Cs from Naval Air Station Lemoore.
  • The “Bounty Hunters” of VFA-2 – F/A-18F – from Naval Air Station Lemoore.
  • The “Stingers” of VFA-113 – F/A-18E – from Naval Air Station Lemoore.
  • The “Golden Dragons” of VFA-192 – F/A-18E – from Naval Air Station Lemoore.
  • The “Gauntlets” of VAQ-136 – EA-18G – Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) – from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash.
  • The “Black Eagles” of VAW-113 – E-2D – Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) – from Naval Air Station Point Mugu, Calif.
  • The “Titans” of VRM-30 – CMV-22B – Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Squadron (VRM) – from Naval Air Station North Island, Calif.
  • The “Black Knights” of HSC-4 – MH-60S – Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) – from Naval Air Station North Island.
  • The “Blue Hawks” of HSM-78 – MH-60R – Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) – from Naval Air Station North Island.

More ship details here.

Meanwhile in Europe

And if you’re wondering why there aren’t more vessels cost to Ukraine you should know that Turkey controls these straights. The Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits is a 1936 agreement that gives Turkey control over the Bosporus and Dardanelles Straits and regulates the transit of naval warships. The Convention guarantees the free passage of civilian vessels in peacetime, and restricts the passage of naval ships not belonging to Black Sea states.