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Tuesday, 19 December 2017 - 16:00
US to enhance naval power in Asia
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The US Navy’s top officer said that vessels from the eastern Pacific could be brought forward to reinforce US naval power in Asia as Washington contends with increased threats in the region and accidents that have weakened its maritime force.
 
“We will continue to assure that we meet all of our missions here in the Asia Pacific area. It could be something coming forward from 3rd Fleet or something like that to meet those requirements,” Chief of US Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson said at a briefing aboard the USS Ronald Reagan carrier in Japan this afternoon (19).
 
He declined to say when or how many ships could be transferred.
 
The growing threat posed by North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear weapon advances coupled with operations to counter China’s increasing military might in the South China Sea and other parts of Asia is putting an increased burden on the US Seventh Fleet.
 
That added pressure on crews has been blamed for contributing to a series of accidents involving naval vessels this year, including collisions by two destroyers with merchant ships that killed 17 US sailors.
 
In August, the USS John S. McCain guided missile destroyer was struck by a merchant ship near Singapore, while its sister ship, the Fitzgerald, almost sank off the coast of Japan in June after colliding with a Philippine container ship.
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