CENTCOM Commander embarks USS West Virginia Ballistic Missile Submarine

On October 19, 2022, Gen. Michael “Erik” Kurilla, commander of U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM), conducted a visit aboard the USS West Virginia, a U.S. Navy Ohio-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine at an undisclosed location at sea in international waters in the Arabian Sea.


Gen. Michael Kurilla peers through a periscope on the submarine USS West Virginia.

Kurilla was joined on the USS West Virginia by Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet and U.S. Navy Central. During his visit onboard the submarine, Gen. Kurilla received a hands-on demonstration of the capabilities of the vessel, which operates globally under U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM).


“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,” Gen. Kurilla said. “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.”


Gen. Kurilla listens to a briefing aboard the USS West Virginia.

USSTRATCOM forces are on watch 24 hours a day globally, operating in all domains, while supporting other commands to defend the United States and its allies.


West Virginia is one of six ballistic-missile submarines stationed at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia, and is capable of carrying up to 20 submarine-launched ballistic missiles with multiple warheads.  

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