Over the past several weeks we have noted some ambiguity about what specific naval assets the Pentagon intends to move to the Pacific in order to meet its goal of a “60/40 split” between the Pacific and Atlantic.
Deputy Secretary Ashton Carter helped clarify this in late July:
We will have a net increase of one aircraft carrier, four destroyers, three Zumwalt destroyers, ten Littoral Combat Ships, and two submarines in the Pacific in the coming years.
Still, as our own Matthew Leatherman pointed out:
Carter’s comment is a little bit vague here – the three Zumwalts could be part of four total destroyers going to the Pacific, or they could be in addition to them.
Since then Kathleen Hicks, Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Policy, tackled that question head-on:
We will have in the Pacific a net increase of: one aircraft carrier, four Burke Class destroyers, three Zumwalt class destroyers, ten littoral combat ships, and two submarines.
So it’s a total of seven destroyers to be added in the Pacific. Even with that larger shift, however, the Navy still doesn’t seem to hit its own 60 percent ratio. By our calculation it will be in the neighborhood of 57 percent, up three points from the 54 percent already homeported there.