The US has increased its presence in the Indo-Pacific region in the wake of growing Chinese aggression at a time when the world is fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
A press release issued by the US Pacific Fleet said, “(Currently the) USS Nimitz and Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Groups are conducting dual carrier operations in the Philippine Sea. The ships and aircraft assigned to both strike groups began coordinated operations in international waters on June 28.”
“The US Navy remains mission ready and globally deployed. Dual carrier operations demonstrate our commitment to regional allies, our ability to rapidly mass combat power in the Indo-Pacific, and our readiness to confront all those who challenge international norms that support regional stability,” said Rear Admiral George Wikoff, Commander Carrier Strike Group 5.
Keeping its commitment to ensuring “freedom of navigation” and adherence to “international rules-based order”, the statement said, “While deployed, the Carrier Strike Force is conducting integrated exercises and operations that maintain responsive, flexible, and enduring commitments to mutual defence agreements with allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific.”
This comes after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday said that the US was reviewing its global deployment of forces to ensure it is postured appropriately to counter China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), given the increasing threat posed by China to Asian countries like India, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
“We’re going to make sure we’re postured appropriately to counter the PLA. We think that the challenge of our times, and we’re going to make sure we have resources in place to do that,” Pompeo said.