US Navy Continues Patrols in South China Sea

Ships from the U.S. Navy’s Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) transited the Straits of Malacca and conducted routine operations in the South China Sea from November 7-10.

The ARG’s flagship, the multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2), conducted the patrol as the amphibious transport dock USS Anchorage (LPD 23) and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47) prepared for bilateral training exercises with Brunei and Malaysia.

USS Rushmore began offloading troops for the 2015 iteration of Malaysia-U.S. Amphibious Exercise, Malus Amphex 2015, on November 10. During the exercise, U.S. personnel will train with Malaysian amphibious units ashore to instruct and develop core competencies and enhance interoperability with a key partner nation in the region.

Routine patrols like this one support security and stability throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. Other U.S. Navy ships performed similar operations in the 7th Fleet area of operation in recent months, including the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Lassen (DDG 82) whose recent sail-by near one of China-claimed islands caused a media uproar.

The Essex ARG includes the multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2), the amphibious transport dock USS Anchorage (LPD 23) and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47).

The Essex ARG and 15th MEU deployed from San Diego, California, May 11, 2015, on a regularly scheduled deployment and will continue to support operations and engagements in the U.S. 7th Fleet AOR prior to returning to homeport.

Image: US Navy

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