The US Navy has deployed its Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1 to commence routine operations in the South China Sea, amidst increasing tensions between the US and China.
Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1 vessels that have been deployed at the disputed waterway include Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), aircraft from Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 1's Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108).
The navy has commenced patrol activities a week after Beijing warned the US Government “not to challenge China’s sovereignty in the strategic waterway” of South China Sea, reported Japan Times.
Nations such as Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan and Brunei also have overlapping claims to various areas of the South China Sea, despite China claiming right over most of the waters, with an estimated $5 trillion in trade travels conducted every year.
Ships and aircraft belonging to the CSG underwent training off the islands of Hawaii and Guam before beginning the operations, in order to maintain and enhance their readiness as well as develop cohesion as a strike group.
CSG 1 also recently made a port visit to Guam, before conducting operations in the Philippine Sea following departure from the Marianas.
CSG 1 commander rear admiral James Kilby said: “The training completed over the past few weeks has really brought the team together and improved our effectiveness and readiness as a strike group.
“We are looking forward to demonstrating those capabilities while building upon existing strong relationships with our allies, partners and friends in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.”
The Carl Vinson CSG will remain under the US 3rd fleet command and control during the patrol activities even beyond the international dateline, which earlier divided operational areas of responsibility for 3rd fleet and 7th fleet.
Image: USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) passes the Philippine Sea. Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kurtis A. Hatcher / Released.