US Navy maintains carrier strike group within range of Syria

The Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS Princeton (CG-59) and the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110), USS Stockdale (DDG 106) and USS Shoup (DDG 86) are all on their way home. Escorts for USS Nimitz (CVN-68) comprising Carrier Strike Group 11 now include the cruiser USS San Jacinto (CG-56) and the destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87). CSG-11 is currently assigned to the Fifth Fleet NAVCENT area of responsibility.

As Syria crisis fades, U.S. ships remain within striking distance

Sailors from the aircraft carrier Nimitz participate in a search-and-rescue drill in the Red Sea last month. The ship is in its seventh month of deployment. (MC3 Raul Moreno Jr. / Navy)

The simmering Syrian crisis is driving fleet operations higher as a strike force of two flattops and 11 ships stand by in case the disarming of the Assad regime’s chemical weapons breaks down.

The Navy has amassed and maintained a considerable flotilla in the five weeks since the crisis first broke. The threat of imminent strikes brought Syria and its international partner, Russia, to the negotiating table and led to the present agreement, where United Nations weapons experts oversee the destruction of chemical weapons caches.

With the strikes no longer imminent, the Navy has sent home ships that had been close to the end of their deployment, while still leaving a sizable force nearby. Indeed, the crisis has ticked the fleet’s operations pace temporarily higher, with two carriers patrolling in or near 5th Fleet — a pace that has strained the fleet in recent years.

The aircraft carrier Nimitz is patrolling the Red Sea in its seventh month of deployment, while four of its escorts are headed home: the cruiser Princeton and destroyers William P. Lawrence, Stockdale and Shoup. Nimitz is now escorted by the cruiser San Jacinto and destroyer Mason, said a defense official, adding that the aircraft carrier’s deployment was extended “for the foreseeable future.”

Five ships — the destroyers Barry, Gravely, Ramage and Stout, and the amphibious transport dock San Antonio — remain in the Mediterranean.

The aircraft carrier Truman is patrolling the North Arabian Sea along with the cruiser Gettysburg and destroyer Bulkeley.

Big-deck amphibs are also in the region and ready. The amphibious assault ship Kearsarge — which has elements of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, as does the San Antonio — is in the Red Sea, and Boxer is expected to enter 5th Fleet this weekend.

http://www.navytimes.com/article/20131011/NEWS/310210003/As-Syria-crisis-fades-U-S-ships-remain-within-striking-distance

Russia moves cruiser ‘Moskva’ to Mediterranean, strengthens fleet off Syria

The ‘Moskva’ is an Atlant-class (Project 1164) guided missile cruiser first commissioned into the old Soviet Navy as the ‘Slava’ in 1983. After a lengthy refit (1990-2000) she was recommissioned into the Russian Navy as the ‘Moskva’.

Moving the ‘Moskva’ to waters off Syria follows moves that included dispatching destroyer ‘Smetlivy’ and the amphibious ship ‘Nicholas Phylchenkov’ to reinforce Russia’s Mediterranean squadron.

Ракетный крейсер “Москва” движется к группировке ВМФ в Средиземноморье

Планируется, что 17 сентября к составу постоянного оперативного соединения ВМФ присоединятся большой десантный корабль “Николай Фильченков” и сторожевой корабль “Сметливый”.

© РИА Новости. Григорий Сысоев | Купить иллюстрацию

МОСКВА, 11 сен — РИА Новости. Гвардейский ракетный крейсер “Москва” во вторник покинул пролив Гибралтар и движется в восточную часть Средиземноморья, где войдет в состав постоянного оперативного соединения Военно-морского флота (ВМФ) России, сообщила журналистам в среду в пресс-служба Минобороны РФ.

“Гвардейский ракетный крейсер “Москва” 10 сентября прошел пролив Гибралтар и в данный момент следует курсом в восточную часть Средиземного моря в район встречи с кораблями постоянного оперативного соединения”, — говорится в сообщении. Ожидается, что крейсер прибудет в район 17 сентября.

Также, планируется, что 17 сентября к составу постоянного оперативного соединения ВМФ присоединятся большой десантный корабль “Николай Фильченков” и сторожевой корабль “Сметливый”.

Как информирует ведомство, на данный момент постоянное оперативное соединение ВМФ России в Средиземном море включает в себя большие десантные корабли “Пересвет”, “Адмирал Невельской”, “Минск”, “Новочеркасск”, “Александр Шабалин”, большой противолодочный корабль “Адмирал Пантелеев” и сторожевой корабль “Неустрашимый”.

Корабли выполняют задачи по единому плану оперативного командования в дальней зоне, штаб которого дислоцирован на борту большого противолодочного корабля “Адмирал Пантелеев”.

Как развивается ситуация вокруг конфликта в Сирии

В среду президент США Барак Обама резко изменил политический курс, согласившись на предложение России попытаться передать сирийское химическое оружие под контроль международного сообщества и тем самым избежать военного удара США по этой стране. Теперь Обама готов подождать итогов расследования ООН относительно возможного применения химического оружия 21 августа и просит конгресс пока что не голосовать по вопросу о применении силы против Сирии.

© РИА Новости, Инфографика | Купить иллюстрацию

Russian Navy moves LPD to Syria

The Russian Navy is moving the LPD Nicholas Phylchenkov from the Black Sea Fleet to the Mediterranean where it will conduct operations off the coast of Syria. The Nicholas Phylchenkov is a Tapir class (Project 1171) ‘large landing ship’ that was commissioned into the Soviet Navy in 1975. The class can accommodate 20 main battle tanks, or 45 armoured personnel carriers, or 50 trucks and 300 troops.

БДК “Николай Фильченков” вышел из Новороссийска к берегам Сирии

Завтра корабль пройдет пролив Босфор, в пятницу – Дарданеллы, и в назначенное время присоединится к группировке ВМФ России, рассказал представитель ВМФ РФ.

© РИА Новости. Василий Батанов | Купить иллюстрацию

МОСКВА, 11 сен — РИА Новости. Большой десантный корабль Черноморского флота “Николай Фильченков” с грузом накануне вышел из Новороссийска и направился в восточную часть Средиземного моря, сообщил РИА Новости в среду высокопоставленный представитель ВМФ РФ.

В минувшую пятницу источник в бригаде десантных кораблей Черноморского флота (ЧФ) сообщал РИА Новости, что “Николай Фильченков” зайдет в порт Новороссийска для заправки топливом, а потом примет на борт грузы для Сирии. По его словам, этот поход нельзя считать каким-то особенным, так как экипаж корабля “ходил в Сирию десятки раз”.

“БДК “Николай Фильченков” 10 сентября с грузом на борту вышел из Новороссийска и взял курс на Средиземное море. Завтра корабль пройдет пролив Босфор, в пятницу — Дарданеллы, и в назначенное время присоединится к группировке ВМФ РФ”, — сказал представитель ВМФ РФ.

Во вторник высокопоставленный представитель ВМФ РФ сообщал РИА Новости, что сторожевой корабль Черноморского флота “Сметливый” выйдет из Севастополя и направится к берегам Сирии 12 сентября. По его данным, 17 сентября в район восточного средиземноморья прибудет ракетный крейсер “Москва”, а 29 сентября в район сирийского побережья прибудут два корабля ЧФ: ракетный катер “Ивановец” и малый ракетный корабль “Штиль”. В пятницу отряд кораблей, включающий БДК “Новочеркасск” (ЧФ) и “Минск” (Балтийский флот), а также разведывательный корабль “Приазовье” (ЧФ), прошел Дарданеллы и поступил в распоряжение командования средиземноморской эскадры.

http://ria.ru/arab_riot/20130911/962390366.html

Russia has no plans to expand Mediterranean Fleet

Honest. No plans. None whatsoever. Routine rotations… just routine rotations. Trust Volodya.

Russia Has No Plans to Expand Mediterranean Fleet – Source

MOSCOW, September 3 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s naval force in the Mediterranean Sea will not be expanded despite the worsening situation in the region, a military-diplomatic source in Moscow told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.

Russia Has No Plans to Expand Mediterranean Fleet – Source

“There have been no orders to expand anything there, and there will not be. The strength and type of forces that we have in the Mediterranean Sea today are sufficient to keep us fully informed about what is happening,” the source said.

He also confirmed local media reports Monday that the electronic intelligence ship Priazovye is being sent to the region, but explained that this is part of regular rotation within Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.

“Yes, we want to know what is happening in this key region in which Russia has serious interests. We want to see and know what is happening there, what to prepare for in this region,” the source added.

He also said Russia’s existing flotillas in the Mediterranean Sea are undergoing routine rotations, and stressed “this is a regular rotation process, planned at the start of the year.”

“Our military presence in this region predates the Syrian conflict, and will continue after it, and so it would be wrong to draw any connection between the rotation of our ships in the Mediterranean region and events in Syria,” RIA Novosti’s anonymous source added.

Russia Has No Plans to Expand Mediterranean Fleet – Source

http://en.rian.ru/military_news/20130903/183134100/Russia-Has-No-Plans-to-Expand-Mediterranean-Fleet–Source.html

Russian Navy pulls out of Syria base as “a temporary measure”

The Russian Navy is pulling its personnel out of its naval base in Tartus, Syria as a “temporary measure” due to the ongoing Syrian Civil War. The base supports Russia’s Mediterranean squadron and dates to the Cold War. The Tartus base has facilities that Russia plans to support an operational squadron of aircraft carriers and cruisers. Russia’s desire to maintain the global reach of its revitalized navy has been a key factor in Vladimir Putin’s continued support for the Assad regime. Without Assad, would a free Syria permit Russia to continue using the base?

Russian Navy Pulls Personnel Out of Syria Base – Deputy FM

MOSCOW, June 27 (RIA Novosti) – Russia currently has no military personnel at its resupply facility in the Syrian port of Tartus, a senior diplomat said, though an expert affiliated with the Ministry of Defense downplayed it as a possible temporary measure.

© AFP 2013/ SANA

“Currently, there is no one in Syria from the Russian Defense Ministry,” Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov told the Al-Hayat international pan-Arabic newspaper.

“We never, at any time, had a real military base in Tartus… That center has no military or strategic significance. It never did and it doesn’t now,” Bogdanov added, speaking in an interview that was first published last Friday in Arabic.

The naval maintenance center in Tartus, established in Soviet times, remains Russia’s last military foothold outside the former Soviet Union. The facility, used for the maintenance and resupply of Russian warships in the Mediterranean, had a staff of “several dozen,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in February.

The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement Thursday that the center has been serviced exclusively by civilian staff “for a long time,” but stressed it had no plans to abandon the facility.

An unnamed military official was cited by Vedomosti business daily Wednesday as saying that the Russian leadership was worried about the safety of the facility’s personnel, given the ongoing civil war in Syria. More than 90,000 people have been killed in the country since fighting broke out between government forces and rebels in March 2011, according to the latest UN figures.

Any incident involving Russian servicemen in Syria could also have unwanted political repercussions, the source said. Moscow has been providing diplomatic backing to embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad against pressure from Western powers and Gulf kingdoms.

The Russian Navy currently has a flotilla of 16 warships and auxiliary ships in the Mediterranean, but no Russian ships have called at Tartus in recent months, according to Russia’s General Staff.

The facility in Tartus only sees use on rare occasions when Russian warships call there, said Igor Korotchenko, editor-in-chief of the National Defense monthly Russian-language magazine and head of the Defense Ministry’s public council.

“[The pullout of military personnel] probably means that there are simply no current plans to use the base in Tartus,” he told RIA Novosti on Thursday.

“They’ll likely redeploy when it’s needed. It’s just a technicality,” Korotchenko said.

http://en.ria.ru/world/20130627/181909679/Russian-Navy-Pulls-Personnel-Out-of-Syria-Base–Deputy-FM.html