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Indo-Pacific

Amid Ukraine crisis, U.S. reminds China nuclear-armed sub is close

Rare Guam port of call shows Washington has not forgotten Taiwan

The U.S. Navy ballistic missile submarine USS Nevada arrives at Naval Base Guam on Jan. 15. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy)

NEW YORK -- When an American submarine loaded with nuclear-tipped missiles leaves the shallow waters off the continental U.S., only the commanding officer and the navigation team on board know the exact location of the vessel and where it is heading.

The golden rule for nuclear-powered, ballistic missile submarines, known as SSBNs or "boomers," is that they can receive orders while underwater from the White House or Pentagon, but the stealthy submarines can never transmit a response.   

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