A few months ago I posted about the visit of U.S.S. Sampson to our waters. The Royal New Zealand Navy has its 75th Anniversary on the weekend of 19-20 November, to which the United States was invited. So, to be totally clear about the United States Navy ship U.S.S. Sampson:
- It is NOT a nuclear powered ship – the only surface ships to have nuclear propulsion in the United States Navy are the aircraft carriers.
- It does NOT have nuclear warheads on board – the only ships in the U.S. Navy capable of carrying nuclear missiles are the Ohio Class submarines.
The United States Navy has undergone significant changes since the Cold War ended. Its nuclear powered cruiser and destroyer fleets have been mothballed. The United States military has a nuclear triad of the Ohio Class submarines, missiles in land based silos and long range bombers such as the B-52 and B-2.
I was never opposed to U.S. warships visiting as long as they complied with New Zealand law. So U.S.S. Sampson is welcome in New Zealand waters and we should be grateful that the U.S. Navy has taken the time to acknowledge the Royal New Zealand Navy’s 75th Birthday.
On a side note, it is interesting to know that this post is on the anniversary of the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, where the U.S. Navy successfully defeated the last major Japanese attempt to retake the island by winning the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal.