The US military announced on social media that it has sent a nuclear submarine to the Middle East.
US Central Command (CENTCOM) stated late on Sunday on X (previously Twitter) that “an Ohio-class submarine arrived in the US Central Command area of responsibility on November 5, 2023.”
The unusual public announcement of a nuclear submarine’s position in the Middle East is being viewed by many as a message of deterrence by the administration of US President Joe Biden to regional rivals such as Iran.
The social media post did not specify the sub, but US Navy has four Ohio-class guided missile submarines (SSGNs). SSGNs are former ballistic missile subs converted to fire Tomahawk cruise missiles.
Like nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs), SSGNs can operate undetected near an adversary’s homeland for extended periods, according to the Submarine Industrial Base Council.
They can covertly deploy Special Operations Forces and conduct strike operations with an element of surprise and shock for the enemy from close-in positions.
The US has sent two aircraft carriers to the region since Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel. The Ohio-class submarine will join these US military assets in the area.
Israel has been relentlessly bombing the Gaza Strip in retaliation of the October 7 attack that killed 1,400 Israelis and saw more than 200 others taken as captives by the militant group.
Since then, Israel has killed around 9,500 Palestinians, with more than half of them being women and children.