By: Elena Grace Flores
The United State’s wait and see strategy is now resulting to two US Navy aircraft carriers and its Great Green Fleet to regularly patrol the disputed South China Sea. They arrived in the Philippine waters from a trilateral exercise called Malabar, a defense training between US and Indian naval forces with the avid participation of Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. They all ganged up with the USS Ronald Reagan along the Philippine Sea to strategically counter act China should they disregard the upcoming U.N. ruling from the Hague that would likely favor the Philippines.
The display of forces is not only impressive. It is also demonstrating the important operational capability of the countries involved. Hitchcock said. The CSG 3 consists of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis, guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay and guided-missile destroyers of Destroyer Squadron 21, USS Stockdale, USS Chung-Hoon and USS William P. Lawrence, and the aircraft of Carrier Air Wing 9. CSG 3 already started their operation in the Western Pacific seas last Feb. 4 and continued the enhance them at the present time. The CSG 5 consists of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, guided-missile cruisers USS Shiloh and USS Chancellorsville and guided-missile destroyers from Destroyer Squadron 15, USS Curtis Wilbur, USS McCampbell, USS Benfold, and the aircraft of Carrier Air Wing 5. CSG 5 is forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, and routinely patrols the Western Pacific, the statement said, adding that CSG 5 commenced its summer patrol of the Indo-Asia Pacific on June 4.
China is stubbornly claiming around 90 percent of the 1.35-million-square-mile South China Sea, that is disputed by the Philippines along Scarborough Shoal, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. Tensions are building up around the region and it cannot be denied said Rear Admiral John Alexander, commander of Battle Force 7th Fleet and Carrier Strike Group who took this incident as a good training opportunity. The act is in response to China’s ambitious attempt in building a state-of-the-art warfare in a reclaimed area at the Scarborough Shoal.