The USS Harry S. Truman plane service strike group and NATO allies will launch a serious navy train within the Mediterranean Sea on Monday as issues surge over Russia's massing of forces and looming invasion of Ukraine.
The train, which has been deliberate since 2020, will embrace a number of nations and reveal that the trans-Atlantic alliance is "united, capable and strong," Pentagon spokesman John Kirby stated Friday.
The announcement comes as these bonds could also be examined. President Joe Biden raised doubts Wednesday in regards to the U.S. and NATO nations being unified in response to Russian aggression in Ukraine.
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"I think what you're going to see is that Russia will be held accountable if it invades," Biden stated throughout a press convention. "And it depends on what it does. It's one thing if it's a minor incursion and then we end up having a fight about what to do and not do, et cetera."
The "minor incursion" remark sparked a involved response from the Ukrainians and fueled criticism that Biden was giving Putin a gap to invade -- or at the least working the danger of inflicting a miscalculation amongst nations on the brink of battle.
As a present of alliance unity, the Truman strike group will sail underneath NATO management because the centerpiece of Neptune Strike '22. It features a service air wing with 9 squadrons, 4 guided missile destroyers, and a Ticonderoga-class cruiser that has been within the Mediterranean on a routine deployment.
Vice Adm. Gene Black, commander of the Navy sixth Fleet based mostly in Naples, Italy, might be in charge of the service. He has a "dual-hatted" function because the commander of Striking and Support Forces NATO.
Several NATO allies will take part within the coordinated maritime maneuvers, anti-submarine warfare coaching and long-range strike coaching, in keeping with Kirby, who didn't title the opposite nations and referred inquiries to the alliance.
"As we conduct large-scale exercises, some people participate in some sections of it and not others based on their own operational demands and schedules, as well as the capabilities that they're trying to improve," Kirby stated.
The train to point out NATO solidarity will begin as Russia is prepared "at any moment" to launch an invasion of Ukraine, a former a part of the Soviet Union, White House press secretary Jen Psaki stated earlier this week.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has demanded ensures that Ukraine won't be admitted to NATO as he amassed about 100,000 troops close to Russia's border with the nation in latest months.
Biden warned Wednesday that Russia would pay a "serious and dear price" for an invasion by means of sanctions imposed by the U.S. and different nations within the alliance. His administration hasn't proposed utilizing navy pressure to expel the Russians if Putin offers the invasion a inexperienced gentle.
"We've had very frank discussions, Vladimir Putin and I, and the idea that NATO is not going to be united, I don't buy," the president stated throughout a marathon press convention on the White House.
Psaki sought to make clear the president's earlier feedback that steered a restricted invasion might trigger disagreements amongst allies.
"If any Russian military forces move across the Ukrainian border, that's a renewed invasion, and it will be met with a swift, severe, and united response from the United States and our allies," she stated in a launched assertion.
-- Travis Tritten might be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Travis_Tritten.
Related: 'Minor Incursion' by Russia Could Complicate West's Response
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