US displays military muscle as carrier sails in South China Sea

More than two dozen F/A-18 Hornets roared off the deck of the USS Theodore Roosevelt in an ear-splitting display of US military might as the aircraft carrier sailed through the South China Sea.

The training exercise Tuesday came ahead of a port call in the Philippines, which along with several other nations is embroiled in disputes with Beijing over its claim to the strategic waters.

The demonstration, during a visit by Philippine generals and journalists, was held just days after Beijing flexed its own military muscle with a huge naval drill involving its sole aircraft carrier and dozens of other vessels several hundred kilometres to the north.

"We have seen Chinese ships around us," carrier strike group commander Rear Admiral Steve Koehler said.

"They're one of the navies that operate in the South China Sea but I would tell you that we've seen nothing but professional work from the ships that we've encountered," he said.

Koehler acknowledged "there's a lot of disputes" over the area but insisted the carrier group was transiting through international waters.

The US, a long-time ally of the Philippines, is not party to any of the disputes but says it wants to keep the crucial waterway open to shipping.

"If all the navies are operating in accordance with the international norms and law, which is what we're doing and what we've seen all the navies that are operating in and around the South China Sea (do), that's the whole point," Koehler said.

"We have not seen any dangers in our actions."

Beijing has been building artificial islands to reinforce its claim over most of the resource-rich South China Sea.

Its neighbours, particularly some of those involved in maritime disputes over the waters, have expressed fears China could eventually restrict freedom of navigation and overflight.

Koehler said his strike group's presence in the area was planned well in advance and it was "probably by happenstance" that its mission coincided with the Chinese drill.

"Certainly in the last few years China has increased their naval capacity. We certainly see that," he said.

The Roosevelt's captain, Carlos Sardiello, said it was "in the vicinity" of Reed Bank, a supposedly gas-rich undersea formation claimed by Manila and Beijing, and about 270 nautical miles from Manila.

Beijing has previously protested over similar US Navy manoeuvres in the South China Sea.

US warships regularly conduct "freedom of navigation" operations near islands controlled by Beijing.

The carrier group was en route to Manila, having returned to the Pacific after its warplanes launched more than 1,000 sorties last year, both against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria and also in Afghanistan.

Compared with the 11 active carriers in the US Navy, China currently has just one.

But it has made no secret of its desire to build up its naval forces and last month announced an 8.1 percent increase in military spending to 1.11 trillion yuan ($175 billion).

Related Links
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.</span>

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once
credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly
paypal only

China eyes permanent military base in Vanuatu
Sydney (AFP) April 10, 2018
Australia and New Zealand said Tuesday they were closely monitoring developments while downplaying a report that China wants to establish a permanent military base on the Pacific nation of Vanuatu. The Sydney Morning Herald said Beijing had approached Port Vila about the possibility, potentially upsetting the delicate strategic balance in the region. China has been aggressively growing its military and pushing its footprint deeper into the Pacific, forging closer links by showering nations with ... read more

Let's block ads! (Why?)

from Military Space News, Nuclear Weapons, Missile Defense
via space News
US displays military muscle as carrier sails in South China Sea US displays military muscle as carrier sails in South China Sea Reviewed by Unknown on 04:56:00 Rating: 5

No comments:

Defense Alert. Powered by Blogger.