This post has been corrected to show USS America (LHA-6) is in port.
Two US capital ships and their escorts are operating in the western Pacific near Taiwan, USNI News has learned.
USS aircraft carrier ronald reagan (CVN-76) and USS Large Deck Amphibious Ship Tripoli (LHA-7), with embarked Marine F-35B Lighting II Joint Strike Fighters, are operating in the vicinity of Taiwan, on the edge of the South China Sea ahead of a visit to the Western Pacific by the Speaker of the House of Representatives of US Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to the region, according to the August 1 edition of USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker. An earlier version of this post stated USS America (LHA-6) was underway but is in the port of Sasebo, Japan, the US Pacific Fleet told USNI News on Monday afternoon.
A Pentagon spokesman told USNI News on Monday that the ships were operating normally in the region and would not detail force protection measures for the third-ranking US official’s visit to the region.
However, a senior defense official told USNI News that the ships, escorts and their air wings, already in the region, were prepared to remain as a contingency option. On Monday, Beijing hinted that there would be a military response if Pelosi traveled to Taiwan.
China has “serious concern about President Pelosi’s possible visit to Taiwan and our strong opposition to the visit. We have been emphasizing that such a visit would have serious consequences,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters on Monday when asked about the trip.
“We want to make it clear to the US side once again that the Chinese side is fully prepared for any eventuality and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army will never sit idly by, and we will make a resolute response and take strong countermeasures to uphold the Chinese position. sovereignty and territorial integrity.
China views Taiwan as a breakaway province and discourages governments from dealing directly with Taipei. Pelosi would be the highest-ranking US official to visit Taiwan in 25 years.
Pelosi arrived in Singapore on Monday as part of a congressional delegation to the region after a stop in Hawaii that included a briefing with the US Indo-Pacific Command, her office said in a statement.
“In Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan, our delegation will hold high-level meetings to discuss how we can further our shared interests and values, including peace and security, economic growth and trade, the COVID pandemic -19, the weather. crisis, human rights and democratic governance,” the statement read.
His official itinerary did not include Taiwan, however officials in Washington and Taipei said a visit is expected, according to CNN.
Starting Monday, based in Japan reagan is in the Philippine Sea after transiting the San Bernardino Strait on Saturday following a port visit to Singapore and operating in the South China Sea. based in California Tripoli it is just south of Okinawa. Tripoli it has shipped with up to 20 F-35Bs. Marine officials told USNI News on Friday that their F-35Bs were not on the ground as part of ongoing ejection seat problems.
Specific lots of ejection seats in the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps, including F-35s, were found to have defective components. Services are in the process of clearing seats for service with repairs.
“Currently, Marine Corps F-35Bs are not grounded, and more than 90 percent of inspections on Marine Corps ejection seat cartridge actuation devices are now complete,” Maj. Navy Jay Hernandez to USNI News.