A nuclear-armed U.S. ballistic missile submarine arrived in Scotland this week amid growing tensions with Moscow over Ukraine and Russia’s strategic arms buildup, according to The Washington Free Beacon.
The submarine, the USS Wyoming, arrived at the British naval base at Faslane, Scotland, Wednesday morning for what the U.S. Strategic Command said is a routine visit, the report says.
However, ballistic missile submarine movements and port visits normally are not announced by the Navy or the Strategic Command, an indication the Wyoming’s port call is intended as strategic messaging to Moscow.
“The submarine visit demonstrates the closeness of the U.S./U.K. defense relationship and our commitment to the collective security of all NATO member states,” Stratcom said in a brief statement.
The submarine deployment followed an earlier unannounced visit by a British missile submarine to Kings Bay, Ga., the homeport of the Wyoming.
The Ohio-class strategic submarine carries 24 Trident II nuclear missiles. Missile submarines, known as boomers, are the backbone of the U.S. strategic nuclear arsenal because of their stealth, maneuverability, and firepower.
A defense official said the Wyoming deployment is part of efforts to provide strategic assurance, bolstering so-called extended nuclear deterrence that U.S. nuclear forces provide for NATO.
Stratcom spokesman Maj. Matt Miller said the visit was planned for more than a year and is not a response to regional events, or “directed at any particular potential adversary.”
“The U.S. routinely and visibly demonstrates our commitment to our allies through forward presence and operations of strategic forces, including SSBNs,” he said.
The submarine deployment also compliments exercises, training, operations, and other military cooperation between U.S. and British forces. The visit will boost the Wyoming crew’s familiarization with the region.
The Wyoming’s visit followed the disclosure last week that Russia is building an underwater nuclear-armed drone submarine known as Kanyon. The drone is in development and is designed for strategic nuclear strikes on U.S. ports and coastal cities, according to Pentagon officials.