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China Freaked Out: The Navy Surfaced 3 Missile Submarines Simultaneously

U.S. Navy Submarine Surfacing
Image: Creative Commons.

What history has shown in recent decades is that military posturing has become an integral part of how countries deal with one another.

According to Forrest Morgan, an analyst for the RAND Corporation, such actions all point to what is known as “crisis stability”—the “building and posturing forces in ways that allow a state, if confronted, to avoid war without backing down.”

Showcasing Might in Pacific

One particular example Morgan sheds light on is when the U.S. Navy’s Ohio-class SSGNs surfaced in the Pacific more than a decade ago.

“In July 2010, three SSGNs surfaced nearly simultaneously in Western Pacific and Indian Ocean waters, allegedly to signal U.S. displeasure over Chinese missile tests in the East China Sea,” he writes.

This caught the attention of plenty of local reporters as well.

“The appearance of the USS Michigan in Pusan, South Korea, the USS Ohio in Subic Bay, in The Philippines and the USS Florida in the strategic Indian Ocean outpost of Diego Garcia not only reflects the trend of escalating submarine activity in East Asia, but carries another threat as well,” Greg Torode reported for the South China Morning Post.

“Between them, the three submarines can carry four hundred sixty-two Tomahawks, boosting by an estimated 60 percent-plus the potential Tomahawk strike force of the entire Japanese-based Seventh Fleet—the core projection of U.S. military power in East Asia. One veteran Asian military attaché, who keeps close ties with both Chinese and U.S. forces, noted that four hundred sixty-odd Tomahawks is a huge amount of potential firepower in anybody’s language,” he continued.

The reporter concluded that “it is another sign that the U.S. is determined to not just maintain its military dominance in Asia, but to be seen doing so—that is a message for Beijing and for everybody else, whether you are a U.S. ally or a nation sitting on the fence.”

Tensions Escalating

More recently, military tension in the Pacific and Taiwan Strait has only continued to grow—with the United States becoming more wary of the fact that China’s military has shown capability to launch anti-ship ballistic missiles into the South China Sea.

“These mid-range, anti-ship ballistic missiles are capable of attacking aircraft carriers in the western Pacific,” Adm. Phil Davidson, the former commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“Their employment during a large-scale PLA exercise demonstrates the PLA’s focus on countering any potential third-party intervention during a regional crisis,” he continued.

Davidson also noted that China “continues to militarize the region, deploying new equipment to its artificial outposts in 2020 and using forward airfields to support a growing level of military operations by heavy transport, intelligence, and anti-submarine aircraft.”

Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.

Written By

Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV.



  1. Geofff Mitchell

    October 23, 2021 at 4:15 am

    Are these decade old headlines designed to escalate tensions between USA and China ? What is the point of publishing events in the past .!!

  2. Alfred Leonard

    October 23, 2021 at 6:53 am

    Do not downsize bigger is better.strength to strength.china,like Russia is a bully and only respects bigger.keep building better.

  3. Jonjay

    October 23, 2021 at 12:52 pm

    Please qualify headlines. When people say The Navy they are usually referring to the Royal Navy!

  4. DC

    October 23, 2021 at 4:18 pm

    So, what does the event in 2010 have to do with the “price of tea in China” today, right now?

  5. George Mcgrow

    October 23, 2021 at 9:09 pm

    The US Military was a HELUVA different place today a decade ago then it is today…ditto senior military and political leadership. Looking at the Defense geopolitical situation we’re in along with our defense posture… we’re screwed.

  6. George McGrow

    October 23, 2021 at 9:19 pm

    Yeah, well this isn’t the same Navy we had a decade ago, either. It’s difficult to know if I can count on fire control technicians who might be making out with each other down in the fire control room. I didn’t have to worry about my dad’s B29 crew incinerating Japan. I knew what HIS military was all about.

  7. nash

    October 24, 2021 at 1:21 am

    Yep remind me when Chinese sub surfaced between U.S carrier strike group just recently not 10 years ago. Bully U.S should keep its army and navy at its sures.

  8. ATRUEpatriot

    October 24, 2021 at 3:12 am

    Yeah George McGrow, back in your father’s day everyone slopped pole and wasn’t really a gay thing, they just did it anyways! So how often did your ol pappy get his slophole pegged huh? Even more why should it matter?? If people who put their lives on the line, die for the country and fellow soldiers who cares what they want to do in the bedroom. Seriously?? Personally I don’t care how much hogg your dad choked down during service, because he was fighting for America, the side that wasn’t sending people to gas Chambers for a sexual preference, religion, or race. Stop inserting yourself into people’s bedrooms you pervert. What gives you a right? Last I knew our country didn’t allow kings or government to dictate how you pork your wife or dictate what love is or legally can be. Seems you lost sight of what your father sacrificed, and what those freedoms truly mean. You forgot “all men created equal” means ALL men. We have freedoms and rights in this country, when you start saying who gets those rights over others then congratulations, that is what Hitler did and you’re no damn better. What a pathetic and needless comment degrading our great service members… Shame on you.


    October 24, 2021 at 3:20 am

    China aka CHI Coms have One Aircraft Carrier that was built from a used Russian Container Ship . 1 US SUB can Sink that in less than 5 minutes. CHINA needs to cut the Bullying before they get smoked back to FEUDAL TIMES .

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