US Navy and Coast Guard Operate in East China Sea to Show the Flag
In a further effort to show the flag in the East China Sea and support of Taiwan, the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard staged a series of routine exercises in the area. The U.S. Navy emphasized that its vessel was operating in international waters following international law but made sure to highlight the transits and exercises in the area to send a clear message to China.
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd accompanied by the U.S. Coast Guard National Security Cutter Munro conducted routine Taiwan Strait transits on August 27, the U.S. Navy announced. “The ships' lawful transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the Navy said releasing pictures of the transit.
Earlier in the week, the Coast Guard Cutter Munro participated in a two-day deployment with Japan Coast Guard for what was called a routine training exercise. The Munro, a 418-foot national security cutter, departed its homeport of Alameda for a months-long deployment to the Western Pacific. Operating under the tactical control of U.S. 7th Fleet
“Partnering with like-minded maritime forces to cross train and expand multi-nation expertise in search and rescue, maritime environmental protection and maritime law enforcement allows our nations to promote regional stability, confront malign activities and threats, and uphold the international rules-based-order underpinning our shared security and prosperity,” said Vice Adm. Michael F. McAllister, commander U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area.
During the exercise, the Munro operated in the East China Sea. She was joined by the Japan Coast Guard ship Aso for the training exercise. Before that, the Munro conducted a port visit in Sasebo, Japan. The exercise included crew exchanges, two-ship communication, formation, maneuvering, and navigation exercises, They also conducted joint and cooperative maritime presence drills, maritime law enforcement training and exercises, and several variations of large ship and small boat operations.
“These at-sea engagements with one of our longest-standing partners in the Indo-Pacific region provided excellent opportunities for our crews to train together and learn from each other, further strengthening our alliances and maritime partnerships,” said Munro‘s Commanding Officer Capt. Blake Novak. “Conducting operations and exercises leverages our strong and trusted relationships while expanding our regional security cooperation initiatives and bolstering collaboration in the Indo-Pacific.”
The U.S. Coast Guard routinely deploys its cutters, boats, aircraft, and deployable specialized forces on exercises worldwide. Earlier this year, USCG vessels operated in the Persian Gulf. The Coast Guard in June also conducted search and rescue training together with the Japan Coast Guard near Honolulu before teaming up to search for a missing free diver off Kauai, Hawaii. Earlier this year, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Kimball and Japan Coast Guard Ship Akitsushima conducted drills together near the Ogasawara Islands of Japan alongside helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles to practice interdicting simulated foreign vessels operating illegally inside Japanese waters.
USCG Munro and Japan Coast Guard Patrol Vessel Large Aso transit together in formation during a maritime engagement in the East China Sea (US Coast Guard photos)