The U.S. carrier USS Reagan (CVN 76) has entered the Indian Ocean from the South China Sea and is on its way to the Middle East, both to provide air cover for the Afghan withdrawal and presumably to replace another carrier, USS Eisenhower (CVN 69), for continued deterrence in the Middle East.
As the Reagan carrier leaves the critical Western Pacific, another carrier, USS Carl Vinson, has quietly arrived in Hawaiian waters from the U.S. West Coast and should be on its way to deploy to the Western Pacific, but does not seem to be posturing for a full-speed surge, and is unhurriedly practicing jointly with Seawolf-class submarines in Hawaiian waters, seemingly unconcerned about the carrier warfare vacuum in the Western Pacific.
At the same time, along with the rare appearance of Seawolf-class submarines, the U.S. military’s rare intensive display of various types of submarines should be shining a light on another strategy to the Chinese Communist military, that is, the ability to restrain the operations of the Chinese Communist military even without the deployment of aircraft carriers. The other side of the U.S. Navy’s supposed demonstration of its great strength actually frustrates the CCP’s anti-access strategy with its medium-range missiles, and the East Wind-21 and East Wind-26 missiles, known as carrier killers, are once again out of target.
U.S. satellites and reconnaissance planes should have an accurate picture of the CCP military’s movements, and the Party’s celebrations are now a top priority for the top brass, as a way to tighten internal control and prevent internal changes. Xi Jinping should now be more concerned about the full loyalty of the military forces escorting him to Beijing, as well as the security situation in the Beijing area. The probability of the CCP’s carrier fleet being deployed again is low, and the possibility of provoking a military conflict has been reduced.
Therefore, the U.S. military is not presumptuous to let the carrier vacuum in the Western Pacific go, but based on an assessment after multiple intelligence sources. This relatively low-risk status has also given the U.S. Navy the opportunity to try out new strategies, successively displaying Los Angeles- and Virginia-class attack submarines, and then displaying Seawolf-class attack submarines, and even the Ohio-class strategic submarines have been deliberately taken out for appearance. The U.S. military rarely reveals the location of submarines and related information, but recently it has continuously revealed its home base, which actually mainly targets the weakness of the anti-submarine capability of Chinese Communist Party ships, and the Chinese Communist Navy fleet simply cannot cope with heavy torpedo or anti-ship missile attacks by U.S. submarines. At the same time, all types of U.S. submarines can launch Tomahawk cruise missiles for ground attack, and with the CCP’s current missile interception technology, there should be little defense capability.
The carrier will have plenty of time to train while heading to the Western Pacific, and on July 1, the carrier fleet can even dock at Guam for a day’s leave and then maneuver into Philippine waters when the Communist Party’s celebration is over. After that, the carrier will either head to the South China Sea or enter the East China Sea, where it will have plenty of opportunities to demonstrate the F-35C stealth fighter that will be on board for the first time and test the CCP’s radar performance and response methods.
Although there was a brief vacuum of U.S. carriers in the Western Pacific, the USS America amphibious assault ship is still cruising in the East China Sea and Philippine waters, carrying F-35Bs, so the U.S. amphibious fleet still has some of the capabilities of a quasi-carrier, and with the cooperation of submarines and SHIELD ships, it is fully capable of responding to conflicts in case they arise. In the absence of the U.S. carriers, the CCP’s East Wind missiles waiting for the U.S. carriers or attacking the U.S. amphibious fleet or the SHIELD could become a dilemma for the CCP’s military commission.
In addition, the U.S. military has deployed advanced coastal combat ships in the Indo-Pacific region and actually has long had a more complete response plan. The U.S. military has publicly disclosed that one Independence-class Littoral Combat Ship is already in Philippine waters and another is in the Indian Ocean.
The U.S. carrier Reagan temporarily left the South China Sea, all the way to Japan, India, Australia, Singapore naval exercises, to the Middle East, should also have the opportunity to rendezvous with the British aircraft carrier exercises. It is estimated that by the end of most months, the Reagan will return the same way and have the opportunity to conduct a dual carrier rendezvous with the USS Carl Vinson. The U.S. Navy has a strong equipment advantage and is constantly demonstrating different tactical combinations and maneuverability for global deployment to respond to different war dynamics and maintain an effective deterrent to the Chinese Communist military at all times.