US General Makes Unprecedented Visit to Nuclear-Armed Submarine in Arabian Sea

The visit comes amid tensions between the US and Russia over the potential use of nuclear weapons

The head of US Central Command (CENTCOM) on Wednesday made an unprecedented visit to a nuclear-armed submarine in the Arabian Sea, a move that comes amid soaring tensions between the US and Russia over the potential use of nuclear weapons.

Gen. Erik Kurilla boarded the USS West Virginia, an Ohio Class long-range stealth submarine that falls under US Strategic Command (STRATCOM). Ohio Class submarines are armed with Trident II D-5 missiles, which are one leg of the US’s nuclear triad.

Kurilla spent eight hours on the submarine as it was surfaced in an undisclosed location in the Arabian Sea. “These submarines are the crown jewel of the nuclear triad, and the West Virginia demonstrates the flexibility, survivability, readiness, and capability of US CENTCOM and US STRATCOM forces at sea,” Kurilla said after the visit.

It’s rare that the US advertises the location of its nuclear-armed submarines, and when it does happen, the location is either US waters or an ally’s port. The public visit to the Arabian Sea is said to be unprecedented, and it revealed that a US nuclear-armed submarine is patrolling waters somewhere between India and the Arabian peninsula.

Kurilla’s visit coincided with NATO nuclear exercises that started this week and are being held over Belgium, the UK, and the North Sea, known as Steadfast Noon.

Kurilla’s visit came after President Biden warned that the world was closer to nuclear “armageddon” today than at any time since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Despite Biden’s bleak characterization of the situation, there’s no sign that he is pushing for diplomacy to end the fighting in Ukraine.

Last week, President Biden said he had “no intention” of meeting with Putin to discuss the war. The Washington Post reported that US officials have ruled out the idea of encouraging Ukraine to negotiate with Russia even though they don’t think either side could win the war “outright.”

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.