Here Are Photos Of Two U.S. Navy Carriers In The South China Sea For First Time In Six Years (Updated)

China has been stepping up its own naval activity in the Western Pacific in recent months, including exercises involving both of its own aircraft carriers, though not working together like their American counterparts. Just on July 3, the Pentagon had criticized Chinese exercises in the South China Sea as destabilizing.

“Conducting military exercises over disputed territory in the South China Sea is counterproductive to efforts at easing tensions and maintaining stability,” a Pentagon statement said. “The PRC’s [People's Republic of China's] actions will further destabilize the situation in the South China Sea. Such exercises also violate PRC commitments under the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea to avoid activities that would complicate or escalate disputes and affect peace and stability.”

It’s certainly possible that the Navy’s decision to send Nimitz and Ronald Reagan into the South China Sea might now prompt a tit-for-tat response.

With all this in mind, it will very interesting to see where the two carriers go after finishing up in the South China Sea and if they head to their next destination together, as well.

Update: 4:20 PM EST—

An Air Force B-52H bomber also flew a long-range training mission to the South China Sea on July 5, to work alongside the two carrier strike groups. The aircraft from the 2nd Bomb Wing’s 96th Bomb Squadron, based at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, subsequently landed at Andersen Air Force Base on Guam. The entire flight lasted 28 hours.

“Bomber Task Force demonstrates U.S. capability to rapidly deploy to a forward operating base and execute long-range strike missions,” Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Duff, the 96th Bomb Squadron commander, said in a statement. “This sortie demonstrates our ability to reach out from home station, fly anywhere in the world and execute those missions, rapidly regenerate from a forward operating base and continue operations.”

“As we operate throughout the Indo-Pacific theater, our Fleet units continue to seek out every opportunity to strengthen our capabilities and proficiency at conducting joint, combined, all-domain operations with our partner teams,” U.S. Navy Commander Joshua Fagan, the Air Operations officer for Task Force 70, U.S. 7th Fleet’s main task force, added.. “Some of the recent events bringing Air Force B-52s and B-1s, Navy aircraft, and our ships at sea together on shared networks in support of integrated missions have been good opportunities for us to exercise the joint mission planning and coordination processes that we depend on to operate safely and effectively out here.”

Article source: https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/34598/here-are-photos-of-two-u-s-navy-carriers-in-the-south-china-sea-for-first-time-in-six-years

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Posted by on Jul 9 2020. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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