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US Missile Destroyer Arrives in Philippines to Reinforce Freedom of Navigation

The guided-missile destroyer USS Momsen arrived in the Philippines’ Subic Bay to reinforce the US commitment to freedom of navigation in the Asia-Pacific region, the Navy said in a press release on Monday.

A file photo showing a Tomahawk Land Attack Missile launches from Arleigh Burke-Class guided-missile destroyer USS Lassern (DDG 82) during Multi-Sail 2015 - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US Navy has been conducting exercises in the region to reinforce freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, where Beijing claims sovereignty. China’s territorial claims to the Spratly Islands, also known as the Nansha Islands run counter to those of the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam.

"Momsen's presence here [in Subic Bay] sends a powerful message to the world about our commitment to the stability of the region," Momsen executive office Cmdr. Elaine Brunelle stated. "We are skilled professionals committed to enhancing maritime security through bilateral cooperation with our partners throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific."

While in port, the Momsen crew is expected to conduct ship repairs and participate in community outreach events.

The ship is part of the US 3rd Fleet Pacific Surface Action Group, currently conducting routine patrols, theater cooperation activities and maritime security operations to enhance regional security and stability, the Navy said.

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