The commander of the Defense Department's Central Command (CENTCOM) visited a nuclear submarine in international waters Wednesday in a possible move designed to send a message to adversaries in the region.
Gen. Michael "Erik" Kurilla embarked aboard the USS West Virginia, a U.S. Navy Ohio-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine, somewhere in the Arabian Sea, a news release said.
During the visit, he received a demonstration of the vessel's capabilities, which operates globally under the U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM).
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"I was thoroughly impressed with the crew of the USS West Virginia; these sailors represent the highest level of professionalism, expertise, and discipline across the U.S. military," Kurilla in a statement released by CENTCOM. "These submarines are the crown jewel of the nuclear triad, and the West Virginia demonstrates the flexibility, survivability, readiness, and capability of USCENTCOM and USSTRATCOM forces at sea."
The West Virginia is one of six ballistic-missile submarines stationed at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia. It can carry up to 20 submarine-launched ballistic missiles with multiple warheads.
The Arabian Sea is bounded by the Horn of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Iran, Pakistan and the Indian Ocean.
Kurilla's visit comes as Pakistan is still fuming over President Biden's remarks that the country is "one of the most dangerous nations in the world" for possessing "nuclear weapons without any cohesion." On Saturday, Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the U.S. ambassador to express "disappointment and concern" with the remarks.
Meanwhile, tensions between Washington and Iran could escalate amid Tehran's support of Russia in its war in Ukraine. The Biden administration recently accused Iran of lying when it said it is not supplying the Russian military with drones.
In addition, U.S. officials have openly supported demonstrations in Iran against the regime.
Fox News' Jennifer Griffin contributed to this report