“This operation was a great way to show our strike group’s ability to disperse forces for different missions and cover a broad area of water in 7th Fleet,” said Cmdr. Walter C. Mainor, commanding officer, William P. Lawrence.
The exact location where the said patrol was conducted was not mentioned in John C. Stennis Strike Group Public Affairs’ report.
The report said guided-missile destroyer USS Stockdale (DDG 106) also completed a similar patrol, March 5. US Defense Secretary Ash Carter said that in March joint US-Philippines patrol operations was conducted in West Philippine Sea.
“The strike group is exercising our right to operate in international waters,” said John C. Stennis Strike Group commander Rear Adm. Ron Boxall after the March 5 mission . “Our presence here promotes peace and stability in the region. We’ve got vibrant economies in the Western Pacific, and it’s really important for us to be there for our national interests and to ensure that we can keep the sea lanes free.”