Four Countries’ Warships Sail in South China Sea

Saturday, May 11, 2019

USS William P. Lawrence

Tokyo-(PanOrient News) Warsships from four countries – the U.S., Japan, India and the Philippines – joined together to sail through the South China Sea from May 2 to 8 in a move to counter China’s assertions of dominance in the highly disputed region.

“Our team was really excited to take part in this multilateral event,” said the American Cmdr. Andrew Klug of the USS William P. Lawrence told U.S. Navy. “Professional engagements with our allies, partners and friends in the region are opportunities to build upon our existing, strong relationships, as well as learn from each other.”

During the joint sail, the ships performed communication drills, formation exercises and passenger transfers. In addition, a leadership exchange was held aboard a Japanese helicopter carrier. According to a statement from the U.S. Navy, such events provide an opportunity for like-minded navies to train together and cooperate throughout a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

“The opportunity of a multi-sail with U.S. Navy and regional partners was a great experience. In addition to building mutual understanding and trust, it also served as a way to enhance peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region” said Rear Adm. Hiroshi Egawa from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. “The ability to do various exercises among four different navies smoothly demonstrated professionalism and high operation skills.”

Participating in the joint sail were an American guided-missile destroyer, an Indian Navy destroyer and tanker, a Japanese helicopter carrier and a destroyer, and a patrol ship from the Philippine Navy.

“Our bond of friendship with our regional partners is as strong as our commitment to maintain peace and stability in the region,” said Capt. Jerry Garrido, Jr. of the Republic of Philippine Navy.

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