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USS Ronald Reagan enters South China Sea.

Image Credit: US Indo-Pacific Command.

The Japan-based USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier entered South China Sea today after it left Yokosuka port, Japan on patrol May 19th.

The aircraft carrier is permanently deployed on Yokosuka port in Japan, and usually spends half the year patrolling the Indo-Pacific. It is the U.S. Navy’s only forward-deployed carrier and the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 5, and it is the most visible projection of US maritime power in the Indo-Pacific. It is not the first time the US has used the carrier to push back on China’s aggressive claims of sovereignty over most of the South China Sea.

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told to reporters during a news conference last month.

We don’t talk about potential ship movements in advance.

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby

USNI news agency reported later on that month that USS Ronald Reagan will be deployed to Middle-East to support the planned withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. The last time a Yokosuka-based carrier was deployed to the Middle-East was in 2003 during the US invasion of Iraq.

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