Would Navy Aircraft Carriers Be Useless in a War Against Russia?

    Dave Majumdar

    Security, Europe

    This might be a big problem. 

    Earlier this month, Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and EA-18G Growlers embarked aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) to take part in an annual multinational exercise called Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2018 on June 6.

    While BALTOPS has been an annual exercise since 1972 in the middle of the Cold War, what is remarkable about this year’s war games is that Harry S. Truman was sailing in the Adriatic Sea—off the coast of Italy—during the exercise. That means that U.S. Navy aircraft—assigned to Carrier Air Wing One (CVW) 1—flew north across the width of the European continent to participate in the Baltic Sea exercise. Indeed, as the Navy itself notes, this was the first instance of American carrier-based assets participating in BALTOPS since its inception.

    “The ability to operate in the Adriatic and support allies in the Baltic region demonstrates that we have the capabilities to match our resolve,” Rear Adm. Gene Black, commander of Carrier Strike Group 8, said in a statement released earlier this month. “It is further proof of the flexibility and agility we bring to the fight, and reaffirms our commitment to regional security and cooperation to our partners and allies.”

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