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U.S. and Canadian naval forces showcase strength in the South China Sea amid Chinese threats to the Philippines!

The United States Navy and the Royal Canadian Navy conducted joint operations in the South China Sea from June 18 to June 20, demonstrating a strong commitment to regional security and collaboration amid escalating tensions involving China and the Philippines.

The bilateral exercises featured the USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114), an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer from the US Navy, and the HMCS Montreal (FFH 336), a Halifax-class frigate from the Royal Canadian Navy.

During these operations, activities such as personnel transfers, flight operations, and replenishment at sea were conducted.

Capt. Justin Harts, Commander of Destroyer Squadron 15, emphasized the significance of close coordination with allies and partners in the region, stating that cooperation with the Royal Canadian Navy is crucial for promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Cmdr. Isaia Infante, commanding officer of the USS Ralph Johnson, highlighted the importance of joint exercises in enhancing regional stability. He emphasized the USS Ralph Johnson’s commitment to upholding peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific while reinforcing the rules-based international order.

According to the US Navy, such bilateral engagements are essential for training, exercising, and developing tactical interoperability among allied navies, thereby bolstering collective readiness to address potential regional challenges.

This operation follows recent developments where Canada, alongside Japan and the US, participated in the Philippines’ first joint patrol in the South China Sea as part of a multilateral maritime cooperation activity aimed at safeguarding freedom of navigation and overflight.

The Philippines has accused China of violating its sovereignty, with particular concerns over the presence and actions of Chinese vessels within its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which Manila contends infringes upon its sovereignty and sovereign rights.

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