Chinese navy ships and Russian submarines are now traveling in North Atlantic waters at a pace not seen since the end of the Cold War. The United States Navy’s top admiral made the statement to VOA.
Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson said China's navy is competing with the United States. He said it is “ready and capable” of operating anywhere.
He added, "Even five years ago, we wouldn't have seen anything like this.”
However, Chinese operations may not be considered as threatening as the growing activity of Russian submarines. U.S. officials worry that Russia may use its submarines to cut or listen to undersea communications links that connect North America and Europe.
“We're talking about more (activity) than we've seen in 25 years,” Richardson said.
Reactivate the Second Fleet
Because of these activities, the United States has recently reactivated the second fleet to secure the ocean on its eastern coast.
The group of ships was deactivated in 2011 because the U.S. Navy needed money to buy weapons systems. The group was reactivated in the port city of Norfolk, Virginia on July 1.
Richardson will preside over the official ceremony to reactivate the fleet on August 24.
The commander of the Second Fleet will also head NATO’s Joint Forces Command in Norfolk. Richardson said the dual command structure permits the U.S. and its NATO allies to deal with the rising Russian activity together.
Richardson said the U.S. must also stay ahead in the competitive area of information warfare.
U.S. sailors are now defending themselves against Russian electronic interference devices. The devices are similar to ones used against American ground forces operating in Syria.
Richardson did not say how the interference, or jamming, affects the Navy. But electronic warfare attacks could interfere with navigation and communication systems.
Richardson said interference technologies will be important in the future. “We’ve got to make sure that we’re investing in those as well,” he said.
I’m Ashley Thompson.
Carla Babb reported this story for VOA News. Hai Do adapted the story for Learning English. Mario Ritter was the editor.
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Words in This Story
pace –n. the speed with which something happens
reactivated –adj. to cause something to start working or happening again
preside –v. to be in charge of something
navigation –n. to carry out the process of finding the way to get to a place while traveling in a ship, airplane or other vehicle