US aircraft carriers start drills off Philippines
Two US aircraft carriers have started exercises in the Philippine Sea, defense officials said on Sunday, as Washington’s close ally Manila faces growing pressure from Beijing in the South China Sea.
The US Pacific Command said the USS John C. Stennis and USS Ronald Reagan, among the world’s largest warships, began conducting air defense drills, sea surveillance, and long range strikes on Saturday.
The command said the operations marked America’s continued presence in the Asia-Pacific as China expands its maritime strength and engages in massive island building activities in disputed waters.
“No other Navy can concentrate this much combat power on one sea…It was truly impressive,” said US Rear Admiral Marcus Hitchcock, carrier strike group commander. Read More