ABOARD THE USS RONALD REAGAN, South China Sea: A US aircraft carrier has sailed through the disputed South China Sea in the latest show of America’s military might amid new territorial flare-ups involving China and three rival claimant states.
The US Navy flew a small group of Philippine generals, officials and journalists on Tuesday to the USS Ronald Reagan, where fighter jets landed and took off by catapult with thunderous blasts. The nuclear-powered carrier, which was brimming with about 70 supersonic F18 jets, spy planes and helicopters, was en route to Manila.
Rear Adm. Karl Thomas says American military presence helps provide the security and stability that foster diplomatic talks. He made the comment when asked by reporters what message the warship’s presence is sending amid new tensions from renewed disputes involving China and rival claimants including Vietnam.