SOUTH China Sea tensions surged after a US Navy warship was spotted carrying twice the amount of fighter jets than usual.
The amphibious assault ship USS Wasp was on its way to the annual Balikatan exercises in the Philippines, according to reports. The ship was carrying at least 10 F-35B Lightning II stealth fighters, the National Interest reported. They noted the ship usually carried sixth of the aircrafts.
The US Navy said in a statement: “US and Philippine forces will conduct amphibious operations, live-fire training, urban operations, aviation operations, and counterterrorism response.
“The ship and its fighters represent an increase in military capability committed to a free and open Indo-Pacific region.”
The annual exercises allow the troops to prepare for a crisis in the Indo-Pacific region.
The exercises mainly focus on maritime security which is a growing issue as China tries to take control of the waterways, the Business Insider reported.