US aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt arrives in Manila
An aircraft carrier of United States, its guided missile escort cruiser and another vessel arrived for a port visit on Wednesday, the United States Embassy in Manila said.
In a press release, the US Embassy said these were the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 and the guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) arrived.
CVN 71 dropped its anchor at the vicinity of Manila Bay after hosting some military officials, including Philippine Army chief Lt. Gen. Rolando Bautista last Tuesday.
A military source said the Philippine military officials boarded the ship “somewhere in West Philippine Sea, off the coast of Palawan… near the Reed Bank.”
A source added Philippine military officials witnessed an aerial operation demonstrated by US forces during the visit.
According to the US Embassy “during the port visit, (the US) sailors and marines will participate in cultural exchanges, community relations events, and Morale, Welfare and Recreation -sponsored tours to enhance cultural understanding and cooperation between the two countries.”
“The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG) will continue on their regularly scheduled Western Pacific deployment after departing Manila, conducting a variety of operations, including addressing shared maritime security concerns, building relationships with partner navies and enhancing interoperability and communication with partners and allies throughout the area of operations through exercises and ship visits,” it stated.
“The TRCSG returned to the 7th Fleet area of operations after successfully completing more than four months in the Arabian Gulf and U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations supporting maritime security, theater security cooperation, and Operations Inherent Resolve and Freedom’s Sentinel,” it added.
The US Embassy noted that “Roosevelt left its homeport of San Diego, California, Oct. 6, for a regularly-scheduled deployment to the U.S. 7th and 5th Fleet areas of responsibility.”
“TRCSG consists of the staff of Destroyer Squadron 23 and the squadrons of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17, which includes Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 113, VFA-94, VFA-22, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 312, Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 139, Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 116, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 6, Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 73 and Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30,” the embassy noted.
Meanwhile, Captain Lued Lincuna, Philippine Navy spokesman, said a Japanese destroyer is set to arrive in the country on Friday.
“The Japanese Destroyer JS Akizuki with one SH-60J patrol helicopter from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force will arrive for a goodwill visit to the Philippines on April 13 to 16 at Alava Wharf, SBMA, Olongapo City,” he said.
Lincuna said after the customary meeting procedure with BRP Emilio Jacinto at the vicinity of Morong, Bataan the visitors will be given a welcome ceremony and port briefing upon their arrival in Subic Bay. Robina Asido/DMS