TWO US supercarrier groups have started operations in the Philippine Sea, in what the Philippine government said was a demonstration of Washington’s “ironclad commitment” as the world awaits a ruling by a United Nations tribunal on Manila’s petition to invalidate China’s so-called nine-dash line in the South China Sea.
“It is a show of how invested they are to the cause of peace, freedom and stability in our region and how resolute they are in their ironclad commitment to the Philippines,” Defense spokesperson Peter Paul Galvez told the Inquirer by phone.
The Nimitz-class supercarriers USS Ronald Reagan and the USS John C. Stennis strike groups commenced “dual carrier flight operations” in the Philippine Sea yesterday, although Galvez clarified they were not within the country’s territorial waters.
The US Pacific Command statement was accompanied by stunning photos of the two US Navy aircraft carriers and its Great Green Fleet, an initiative to use alternative fuel for its military ships that was launched earlier this year.
The Stennis and the Great Green Fleet had just come from a trilateral exercise called Malabar, which included the US and Indian navies, along with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), before it linked up with the USS Ronald Reagan in the Philippine Sea.
The Ronald Reagan is the US Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier.
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