US Navy destroyer visits Puerto Princesa, Philippines

U.S. Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain arrived in Puerto Princesa, the Philippines for a brief port call on December 24.

During the visit, the McCain crew will participate in a series of community service projects and sporting events.

The visit comes months after Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte said that his country would stop all major military exercises with the U.S..

The Filipino president also halted joint South China Sea patrols with the U.S., all in a sign of shifting diplomatic relations to China and Russia.

More recently, the Philippine defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana said his country would probably not allow the U.S. military to use Filipino ports for freedom of navigation patrols in the South China Sea.

The secretary added that U.S. ships and aircraft could operate from Guam or Okinawa for the patrols.

USS John S. McCain is forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations, operating from Yokosuka, Japan, in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

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