The United States on Wednesday said that deployment of three of its 11 nuclear aircraft carriers to the Pacific Ocean is not in response to any world or political events but was done to “promote security, stability and prosperity throughout the Indo-Pacific region.”
Commander Reann Mommsen, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet told ANI in an exclusive interview that “operating three carrier strike groups in the Pacific is not in response to any political or world events and is proof of the high state of readiness of the United States Navy.”
“US Navy forces are present and active around the Pacific on a daily basis in support of allies and partners and a free and open Indo-Pacific. U.S. ships and aircraft operate routinely throughout the Pacific and Western Pacific – including the waters surrounding the South China Sea, East China Sea and the Philippine Sea – and have for more than 75 years,” she said.
Mommsen said that “This unique capability is one of the many ways the U.S. Navy promotes security, stability and prosperity throughout the Indo-Pacific.”
The deployment of three 100,000-ton US Navy aircraft carriers to the Pacific Ocean on June 15 for the first time in years has drawn swift reaction from China, with state-sponsored media saying Beijing will not back down to defend its interests in the region, CNN reported.
The USS Ronald Reagan and the USS Theodore Roosevelt are both patrolling in the western Pacific, while the USS Nimitz is patrolling in the east, according to US Navy press releases. With each vessel containing more than 60 aircraft, it represents the biggest deployment of US aircraft carriers in the Pacific since 2017 — when tensions with North Korea over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program were at their peak.
The presence of the carriers was first highlighted in an Associated Press report on Friday.
“Carriers and carrier strike groups writ large are phenomenal symbols of American naval power. I really am pretty fired up that we’ve got three of them at the moment,” Rear Adm. Stephen Koehler, director of operations at Indo-Pacific Command in Hawaii, told AP.
On Sunday, the Communist Party’s Global Times mouthpiece said the carriers could threaten troops in the disputed South China Sea.
“By massing these aircraft carriers, the US is attempting to demonstrate to the whole region and even the world that it remains the most powerful naval force, as they could enter the South China Sea and threaten Chinese troops on the Xisha and Nansha islands (Paracel and Spratly islands) as well as vessels passing through nearby waters, so the US could carry out its hegemonic politics,” the Global Times report quoted Li Jie, a Beijing-based naval expert, as saying.
The deployments mean three of the US Navy’s seven active aircraft carriers are in the Pacific. The other four are in port for maintenance.