Navy tests submarine detection skills in Atlantic with "Black Widow" exercise

Exercise responds to Russian presence in region
Wasp Trackers
Posted at 9:02 AM, Sep 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-22 10:21:14-04

NORFOLK, Va. - The Navy is honing submarine detection and tracking efforts in the Atlantic as Russia steps up its undersea presence in the region.

An exercise flexing those skills, dubbed Black Widow 2020, wrapped up on Friday.

It involved surface ships USS Wasp, USS Arleigh Burke, and USS McFaul, as well as two submarines and several aircraft.

"This is where the fight is [and] where the competition is," Vice Admiral Woody Lewis, commander of U.S. 2nd Fleet, told News 3 anchor Todd Corillo on a teleconference.

"We've got to maintain our positional advantage over the adversary. Specifically in the Atlantic, the undersea capability of the Russians. We have got to maintain that advantage," Lewis added.

The exercise comes in an era where both China and Russia have made large investments in underwater warfare.

"Russia took a knee for over a decade and allowed a lot of folks to think the homeland is a sanctuary from Russian forces," Vice Admiral Daryl Caudle said. "Our homeland is no longer a sanctuary. We have to be prepared to conduct high-end combat operations in local waters."

The exercise was a first for the newly re-established Submarine Group Two.

The name for the exercise came from a submarine tactic of breaking down a bullseye into quadrants resembling a spider web and the most lethal spider, the Black Widow.