The John C. Stennis Strike Group (JCSSG) is conducting routine operations in the West Philippine Sea to help strengthen freedom of navigation in the region.
According to the U.S. Navy, the JCSSG transited the Luzon Strait March 1 and have maintained a location in the eastern half of these international waters for four days.
Several People’s Liberation Army Navy vessel was spotted shadowing the JCSSG and have remained in JCSSG’s vicinity during the time period.
“We have Chinese ships around us that we normally didn’t see in my past experience,” said Capt. Greg Huffman, Stennis’ commanding officer.
“Everything I have heard over bridge-to-bridge channels has been good communications between professional mariners,” he added.
The JCSSG all conducted a replenishment-at-sea receiving advanced biofuel, aviation fuel and supplies from USNS Rainier (T-AOE 7).
Flight operations have occurred daily with Carrier Airwing (CVW) 9 conducting 266 sorties.
CVW-9 consists of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 71, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 14, Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 112, Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 133 and Strike Fighter Squadrons (VFA) 151, 97, 41 and 14.
Source: U.S. Navy