US littoral combat ship in South China Sea on ‘routine operations’

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United States Navy Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) is in South China Sea, June 30 conducting “routine operations”, US Navy 7th Fleet said.

US NAVY photo

US Navy 7th Fleet said LCS 10 is on a rotational deployment, operating in the US 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with partners and serve as a ready-response force.

On June 23, the same US warship conducted bilateral exercises with Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Kashima-class training vessel JS Kashima (TV 3508) and Shimayuki-class training vessel JS Shimayuki (TV 3513) also in South China Sea.

“The opportunity to operate with our friends and allies at sea is incredibly important for our combined readiness and partnership,” said Rear Admiral Fred Kacher, commander of US Navy Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 7. “Executing complex maritime skills with our Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force allies allows both of our teams to build on our interoperability and readiness as we maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific.”