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Aboard the USS John L. Canley: this is how the United States reinforces its military presence in the Pacific

2024-02-24T05:04:15.717Z

Highlights: The USS John L. Canley has been added to the catalog of 291 warships of the U.S. Navy. For the next 40 years, the ship, almost 240 meters long and 50 meters high, will defend Washington's military interests in international waters. In July she will join the Seventh Fleet, once the 350 crew members are certified for humanitarian and combat missions. Her new home will then be a tense but gigantic 124 million square kilometer zone of operations in the Western Pacific that includes China, Russia and North Korea.


The US Navy commissions a new ship in San Diego that will sail in the Seventh Fleet, a large area of ​​the Pacific where the great power rivals are located: China and Russia


When Captain Thomas Mays enters the dining room of the USS John L. Canley, he orders the group of journalists following him to uncover their heads.

The soldier, dressed in a camouflaged fatigue uniform, explains that in this way he honors an old naval tradition.

Small ships did not have an infirmary, so sailors wounded in battle were treated and operated on in the larger spaces of the ships, usually dedicated to socializing.

The gesture persists even though space is not one of the problems of the Canley, an eight-level ship that has a platform of almost 5,000 square meters, the third largest among ships in the United States Navy.

The Canley, built in San Diego (California), has been added this week to the catalog of 291 warships of the main world power.

For the next 40 years, the ship, almost 240 meters long and 50 meters high, which has a displacement of 90,000 tons, will defend Washington's military interests in international waters.

In July she will join the Seventh Fleet, once the 350 crew members are certified for humanitarian and combat missions.

Her new home will then be a tense but gigantic 124 million square kilometer zone of operations in the Western Pacific that includes the Americans' most important rivals: China, Russia and North Korea.

The Navy's Seventh Fleet is made up of between 50 and 70 vessels, including submarines, about 150 aircraft and about 27,000 military personnel of the 40,000 deployed around the world.

Defense analysts consider it likely that Washington will send two more aircraft carriers to the area in the coming months.

With three other ships already operating in the region, it would be the first time that five of eleven aircraft carriers would be deployed in the region in a gesture of strength to Beijing and Pyongyang.

As of the middle of this month, there were 104 US ships deployed around the world, a third of the total.

At the beginning of October there were eight fewer active ships, according to the Naval Institute.

“We will support the Marines as an attached base that will serve as an alternative landing strip or whatever they need.

The ship will move around the theater of war on low-intensity missions such as aviation, mine search and special operations to support drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles,” said Commander Mays, originally from Texas.

The military assures that the Canley platform can support four helicopters landing at the same time and store another two on the deck.

A quick look at Mays' cabin shows that the Navy has changed.

A small LGTBIQ+ flag hangs next to the frame of his room.

The space is furnished with the basics and there are hardly any personal details.

The bed is perfectly made and there are some family photos on the metal walls.

In the corner a monitor shows nine scenarios captured by video surveillance cameras.

There is also a frame with a motivational phrase: “work like a captain.”

If it weren't for this decoration, it would be difficult to know that this is the room of the commander of the USS John Canley.

The USS John L. Canley will be mobilized to the North Pacific in July, once the crew of 350 completes their operational training. Petty Officer 1st Class Kelby Sa (Commander, Naval Surface Force, )

When he's not captaining a ship, Mays is also known as a niche genre author of some renown.

This 28-year veteran of the armed forces writes novels where he crosses science fiction with stories of military strategy.

“Everyone who knows me knows that I love a great story.

“We have the opportunity to add more honors than are deserved by elevating the name of John L. Canley,” Mays said at a ceremony with 1,600 guests.

It is the third time that he has headed a Navy commission.

The gigantic ship takes its name from a black Navy sergeant born in Arkansas who fought in the Battle of Hué, one of the longest and bloodiest of the Vietnam War.

Canley was originally awarded the Navy Cross, but the military changed its mind in the Trump Administration.

In 2018, 50 years later, they elevated the distinction to its highest value: the Medal of Honor.

This made Canley the first African-American in the Navy to receive this award while alive.

The former military man died in May 2022. A month later, his daughter baptized the ship by breaking a champagne bottle on the bow.

The Canley is the sixth ship of its type, an expeditionary naval base (ESB).

Her design is based on crude oil tankers built by NASSCO, an American ship manufacturer.

Unlike destroyers, ESBs have a support mission by expanding air and sea operations capabilities.

The Canley's design reflects the growing demands of a world in conflict.

Other ships of this type could accommodate about 100 people, while this design doubles the capacity of the people it can carry below deck.

The Canley has a hybrid crew made up of military and civilian personnel, who are the ones who navigate the imposing ship.

The US Navy fell below 300 vessels 20 years ago.

The fleet under Washington's orders has remained between 270 and 300 ships since August 2003.

A Defense plan prior to the Biden and Trump Administrations set the goal of raising the inventory to 355 vessels.

For this year, the Department has a fund of 32.8 billion dollars for the construction of nine ships, including the powerful submarine USS Columbia, which will not be ready until 2031. In the next 12 months it is planned to retire eleven ships that have reached the end of its useful life.

It will take about 35 years to reach 331 ships in the fleet unless there is a major budget increase, according to a congressional report dated January of this year.

The Kremlin claims, however, that it has a military force with more than 300 vessels.

Other versions, such as that of the United States Naval Institute, set the true figure at 265. Last summer, Vladimir Putin assured that his country would receive 30 new ships in 2023. Beijing's, on the other hand, is much higher.

According to a recent Pentagon report, the Chinese Defense apparatus has 370 warships.

This group will grow to 395 by the end of last year and will reach 435 by 2030.

With this in mind, the US Executive has begun to put pressure on contractors who are currently building ships.

Carlos del Toro, the secretary of the Navy, delivered a harsh message at a defense industry event held this month in San Diego.

“You cannot ask Americans who pay their taxes to do more when you continue, in some cases, to inflate the price of securities with share buybacks, deferring capital investments and making other accounting maneuvers that appear to prioritize price. of shares and raising compensation rather than making the much-needed investments in the industry at a time when our nation needs to be at the forefront," said the official, who was born in Havana and arrived in the United States in 1962. The minister has experience advising in boat construction through his company, SBG Technology, a government contractor.

A few days later, del Toro presided over the commissioning ceremony of the USS John L. Canley.

-”Behind me are 239 meters of battle steel named in honor of an incredible hero.

Sergeant Canley's philosophy was 'if today is my day, come get me'.

This ship will soon be able to sail towards danger.”

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Source: elparis

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