SAN DIEGO — President Joe Biden landed in San Diego shortly after noon Monday for a meeting with the British and Australian Prime Ministers to discuss the countries’ partnership and defense issues, as China’s military influence has become a growing concern for world leaders.
The leaders announced a historic deal in a joint press conference that would modernize Australia’s naval fleet by equipping the country with nuclear-powered attack submarines through AUKUS, a trilateral security pact formed between the three countries in 2021 to develop submarine capabilities in the Indo-Pacific region.
As part of the plan unveiled Monday, the three countries will roll out a phased approach to introduce these submarines with nuclear propulsion technology to the Australian military.
This deal marks the second time the U.S. has shared these submarines since their development in the country over 60 years ago.
Over the next decade, up to five Virginia-class submarines will be bought by the country, pending Congressional approval. In the meantime, the White House said that Australian military personnel will embed with U.S. and U.K. naval forces for training on the technology.
The U.S. will also step up port visits to Australia over the coming years to help introduce the ships to the Australian Navy.
The U.K. is also expected to deliver nuclear-powered submarines to Australia in the late 2030s, before the country will begin production of their own crafts based on updated technology developed between the three nations.
Biden delivered remarks on the deal alongside Australia Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at 2 p.m. today.
Air Force 1 took off around 7 a.m. from Washington, D.C. and arrived at Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado a little after noon, shaking hands with military officials from the base before heading to Naval Base Point Loma.
The president was accompanied by daughter, Ashley, and granddaughter, Natalie.
This visit is Biden’s first trip to San Diego since last November, when the president attended a get-out-the-vote campaign event for Rep. Mike Levin in Oceanside prior to the midterm elections.
While he was here on that trip, Biden also visited the Viasat Carlsbad headquarters to speak about the CHIPS and Science Act passed by Congress last August, which aimed to boost domestic investment in American production of semiconductors.
First Lady Dr. Jill Biden spent a weekend in San Diego for a series of events in early February, visiting with healthcare professionals, veterans and service members before heading up to Los Angeles to present at the 65th GRAMMY Awards.
Biden is met with San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria this afternoon, before he headed up to Rancho Santa Fe for a Democratic National Committee reception.
Tuesday, the president is scheduled to head up to Los Angeles to visit Monterey Park for a discussion on efforts to reduce gun violence.
FOX 5 has teams following President Biden while he is in the city today. Check back for updates.