US Navy’s warships join growing military armada in South China Sea

US Navy Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1 and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Izumo-class helicopter destroyer JS Kaga (DDH 184) are conducting bilateral operations in the South China Sea.

As informed, while in the South China Sea, Japan and US Navy units are conducting maritime security operations, including flight operations, coordinated tactical training between surface and air units, refueling-at-sea evolutions, and maritime strike exercises.

Cooperative maritime engagements and U.S. carrier operations in the South China Sea are part of the US Navy’s routine presence in the Indo-Pacific.

“Bilateral operations are one key component in our collective maritime readiness,” said Rear Adm. Dan Martin, commander, CSG 1. “The Indo-Pacific is a dynamic region and by continuing to conduct routine operations with our allies and partners throughout international waters and airspace, we demonstrate our unwavering commitment to upholding international law, on the sea and in the air, and to ensuring that all nations can do the same without fear or contest.”

Since arriving in the U.S. 7th Fleet region, CSG 1 units have participated in multiple operations and exercises with JMSDF units, most recently MALABAR 2021 and Maritime Partnership Exercise.

“Our activities in the South China Sea and Indian Ocean, which are important international maritime traffic routes, together with the navies of our allies and partners who share our fundamental values and strategic interests, demonstrate our unity and strong will to realize a “free and open Indo-Pacific” based on law,” noted Rear Adm. Ikeuichi Izuru, Commanding Officer of IPD21 force, Commander of Escort Flotilla 3.

This marks the second time that a carrier strike group is operating in the South China Sea with the advanced capabilities of the F-35C Lightning II and Navy CMV-22B Osprey.

CSG 1 is deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

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