The U.S. Navy plans to keep fewer submarines in Groton as the military shifts its focus toward Asia, the top admiral said.
The Naval Submarine Base is expected to have two squadrons with six attack submarines per squadron by 2020, down from the 16 submarines it has now, Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert told The Day of New London.
Greenert said there won't be a major departure of submarines and crews. He said submarines that are taken out of commission at the base in Connecticut will not always be replaced, while submarines at western bases will be replaced.
"We're pretty well set up to execute this strategy, and now we have to evolve and make that rebalance that is called for," Greenert, the chief of naval operations, told the newspaper.
He said the Navy wants to establish or re-establish relationships with numerous allies throughout Asia.
Despite the emphasis on operations in the Pacific, Greenert said the Navy needs to keep all three of its submarine bases on the East Coast. He said the Norfolk naval station in Virginia does not have the capacity to take in the submarines from Groton and it would cost too much to move the submarine school from Groton. A base in Georgia hosts ballistic-missile submarines, and Greenert said they need to remain there as a strategic deterrent.
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