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US Navy plans to revive formation focused on Indian and Pacific oceans

The transfer assumes significance due to the present give attention to China’s assertive actions throughout the Indo-Pacific, particularly the South China Sea.

The US Navy plans to revive a tactical formation that can give attention to the Indian and Pacific Oceans and work with companions equivalent to India and Singapore to deal with potential contingencies, a high American naval defence official has mentioned.

Kenneth Braithwaite, secretary of the US Navy or the highest civilian official within the division of the navy, made the announcement about establishing the First Fleet whereas addressing the Naval Submarine League’s annual symposium on Tuesday.

The First Fleet, which will likely be one of many US Navy’s “numbered fleets” or main tactical items, could possibly be primarily based out of Singapore in the long term, mentioned Braithwaite, based on a report by USNI News, the journal of the US Naval Institute.

“We want to stand up a new numbered fleet. And we want to put that numbered fleet in the crossroads between the Indian and the Pacific Oceans, and we’re really going to have an Indo-PACOM footprint,” Braithwaite mentioned.

“We can’t just rely on the 7th Fleet in Japan. We have to look to our other allies and partners like Singapore, like India, and actually put a numbered fleet where it would be extremely relevant if, God forbid, we were to ever to get in any kind of a dust-up,” he mentioned.

“More importantly, it can provide a much more formidable deterrence. So we’re going to create the First Fleet, and we’re going to put it, if not Singapore right out of the chocks, we’re going to look to make it more expeditionary-oriented and move it across the Pacific until it is where our allies and partners see that it could best assist them as well as to assist us.”

The transfer assumes significance due to the present give attention to China’s assertive actions throughout the Indo-Pacific, particularly the South China Sea. The US and the opposite members of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue – India, Australia and Japan – have mentioned they’re dedicated to making sure freedom of navigation and a rules-based order on this area.

The First Fleet existed from January 1947 to February 1973, when it was redesignated because the Third Fleet. The US Navy at the moment has seven energetic numbered fleets. Each numbered fleet has job forces and different items for particular operations.

Braithwaite, who is anticipated to go to India quickly, mentioned he had not spoken to performing protection secretary Christopher Miller concerning the plan for the First Fleet however had “crossed all the other t’s and dotted all the other i’s”. An unnamed US defence official instructed USNI News Braithwaite had mentioned the proposal with former protection secretary Mark Esper, who was onboard with it.

During his deal with on the symposium, Braithwaite additionally referred to the Chinese displaying “their aggressiveness around the globe”.

“Every single one of our allies and partners are concerned about how aggressive the Chinese have been. I would argue with anybody that not since the War of 1812 has the US and our sovereignty been under the kind of pressures that we see today,” he added.

The US alone can not stand as much as China and nations across the Pacific and the globe want to help in “pushing back militarily and economically if there was a chance for deterrence to work”, he was quoted as saying.

Braithwaite mentioned he would journey to India within the coming weeks to debate safety challenges and the way the 2 sides will help one another.

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