Why does the US Navy increase its presence in the Black Sea

US Navy
090711-N-6639M-189 RED SEA (July 11, 2009) The guided missile destroyer USS James E. Williams (DDG 95) operates underway in the Red Sea. James E. Williams is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility supporting maritime security operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Laura A. Moore/Released)
The US missile destroyer James Williams will soon arrive at the port of Odessa. The warship entered the Black Sea on November 26. After the reunification of the Crimea with Russia, the US Navy is trying to regularly send ships to Ukrainian harbors, thus demonstrating its support to Kiev. This was reported by Russian RT news.
In addition, American naval aviation conducts active reconnaissance near Russian borders.

At present, the US missile destroyer “James Williams” of the “Arly Burke” type moves along the western coast of the Black Sea. He is heading for the Odessa port. This is reported by the website of the United States Naval Institute.

The American warship passed the Bosporus Strait and appeared in the Black Sea on November 26. Earlier this month, “James Williams” was on a mission in the Red Sea, and in mid-November – in Saudi Arabia, in the port of Jeddah.

Destroyers of the “Arly Burke” type along with the aircraft carriers are the basis of the US military presence in the World Ocean. Displacement of the ship is 8-9 thousand tons, length – 154 m, width – 20 m. The destroyers are armed with the Aegis missile defense system and cruise missiles Tomahawk (up to 56 units).

– Demonstration of strength –

Since 2014, US warships have been trying to regularly visit the Black Sea and Ukraine, despite the geographical distance from the main bases in the region. The Sixth Operational Fleet of the United States with Naples headquarters is responsible for the situation on the Mediterranean and Black Sea.

From August 18 to September 1, 2017, the destroyer “Porter” of the type “Arly Burke” was in the Black Sea water area. The previous visit to the Black Sea this ship made in February this year. On April 6, Porter from the Mediterranean Sea launched Tomahawk missiles at the Syrian airbase of Shayrat.

The growth of the US military presence in the Black Sea is not news for Moscow. As early as April 2015, the commander of the forces of South-East Asia, Colonel-General Alexander Galkin, pointed to a fourfold increase in the intensity and duration of the actions of NATO ships in the Black Sea area.

Foreign media note that such regular campaigns by destroyers are intended to demonstrate to Russia the might of the US Navy and are a symbolic act of supporting Ukraine. The Pentagon has repeatedly made statements that it does not recognize the “annexation” of the Crimea and considers the peninsula the territory of Ukraine.

The US supplies the Ukrainian fleet with small second-hand Island type boats and provides consulting services. Since July 2017, the first naval mobile construction battalion of the US Navy has been building an operational center in Ochakov (150 km from the Crimea).

The facility will be located at the mouth of the Dnieper near the 73rd center of special operations of the Ukrainian Navy, whose tasks include subversive activities. Experts believe that the Americans create an operational center for their own needs. In the Federation Council of Russia, the construction of the facility was considered a provocative step by the Pentagon.

– Aerial reconnaissance –

In parallel with the demonstration of force in the Black Sea, the US increased intelligence activity near the Crimea. As reported on Tuesday by the press service of the Southern Military District (SEO), on November 25, around 1:00 pm, airspace control facilities discovered a target that was approaching the state border at high speed.

To intercept an unknown object in the neutral waters of the Black Sea flew the Su-30 fighter. As they approached, the Russian fighter flew over the air facility and visually identified it as an American patrol anti-submarine P-8A Poseidon . As a result, the American aircraft changed the flight trajectory “to be removed from the airspace of Russia”.

According to the Pentagon, the interception over the Black Sea lasted 24 minutes and was carried out in an unsafe manner. It is alleged that the Su-30 passed from Poseidon at a distance of about 15 meters. Also, the fighter crossed the course of the scout from right to left, because of what Poseidon allegedly landed in the after-jet jet Su-30.

The data of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation testify to the constant attempts of the United States to collect information on Russia’s military activities in the Crimea. Thus, during the exercises “Kavkaz-2016 (August-September 2016), the Crimean air defense units recorded a multiple increase in the activity of the US reconnaissance aircraft RC-135 and P-8A Poseidon.

– “Self-sufficient grouping” –

According to the General Staff, since March 2014, Russia has strengthened the Black Sea Fleet with new ships and submarines, strengthened naval aviation, formed a ground group of troops and recreated the first air defense division.

After reunification with Russia in the westernmost point of the Crimea, at Cape Tarkhankut, the air defense forces put on combat alert radar 55Z6M “Nebo-M”. The machine is capable of detecting aerodynamic and ballistic objects at a distance of up to 400 km.

On November 7, the chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Valery Gerasimov, said that a “full-fledged and self-sufficient group of troops” has now been deployed on the Crimean direction.

The Crimea is of strategic importance not only for the Black Sea Fleet. Russia’s plans include the modernization of parts of the Space Forces. In mid-August, 2017, it became known about the forthcoming placement near Sevastopol at Cape Khersones high-precision radar “Voronezh-SM” to replace the obsolete “Dnieper”.

The new station should strengthen the capabilities of the national missile attack warning system (OSRS). In the Soviet years, the Dnieper exercised control over outer space over the territory of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel and part of Iran.

Since 2015, the Ministry of Defense is upgrading the equipment of the 40th separate command and measurement complex (OKID, the Center for Remote Space Communications) located in Evpatoria. The possibilities of this facility were degraded while it was in the ownership of Ukraine. In the spring-summer of 2014, over 90% of the personnel of OKIK went to serve in the Russian Space Forces.

– Counteraction of Russia –

Professor of the Academy of Military Sciences Vadim Kozyulin believes that the activities of the Pentagon in the Black Sea and in Ukraine are aimed at gathering information about Russian military facilities. The US air defense system, missile defense system and the new ground and sea-based strike weapons are in the center of attention of the United States.

“The Americans want to understand how strong the Crimean group is. All this, of course, is necessary to develop measures to effectively oppose Russia in the event of a conflict. Of course, it is unlikely that the US will want a direct conflict with Moscow, but they always have the option to wage war by someone else’s hands, “explained Kozyulin in an interview with RT.

The expert is convinced that American destroyers do not pose a real threat to the security of the Russian Federation, since Russia has the capacity to detect and destroy them. Sending warships, the US authorities demonstrate their disagreement with Moscow’s policy towards Ukraine.

“Washington is deeply involved in the conflict around the Donbass and Crimea, being, in fact, its side. Americans are well aware that Ukraine is powerless to oppose Russia in military terms, so they are trying to expand their presence in the region, thus exerting pressure on Russia in the hope of obtaining political dividends from it,” Kozyulin summed up.