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U.S. Destroyer Conducts FONOP Near Russian Pacific Fleet Headquarters

Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG-85) transits waters near Guam on Jan. 21, 2016. US Navy Photo

A U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer conducted a freedom of navigation operation on Wednesday near the home of Russia’s Pacific fleet.

USS McCampbell (DDG-85) steamed through Peter the Great Bay in the Sea of Japan, near the port of Vladivostok – home to Russia’s Pacific Fleet.

McCampbell sailed in the vicinity of Peter the Great Bay to challenge Russia’s excessive maritime claims and uphold the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of the sea enjoyed by the United States and other Nations,” Lt. j.g. Rachel McMarr, a U.S. Pacific Fleet spokesperson, said in a statement to USNI News.
“U.S. Forces operate in the Indo-Pacific region on a daily basis. These operations demonstrate the United States will fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows. That is true in the Sea of Japan, as in other places around the globe.”

Moscow asserts the entire bay as Russian territorial waters, a claim that does not conform to international law.

Recently, the U.S. Navy’s FONOPS have mostly involved making a show of sending ships past islands claimed by China in the South China Sea. China has aggressively built up several islands in the region in an attempt to stretch the area it claims as sovereign territory beyond the international standard of 12 nautical miles from its mainland. Some of the islands are artificial and not recognized by international law.

“We conduct routine and regular freedom of navigation operations, as we have done in the past and will continue to do in the future. FONOPS are not about any one country, nor are they about current events. All freedom of navigation assertions are grounded in principle and the rule of law,” McMarr said.

  • Marcd30319

    Shades of FleetEx 1983!

  • R’ Yitzchak M

    Global (Cold War) is warming? Desperately looking for final reckoning with Russia before China moves into the Siberia and beyond.

    When Russia collapses vacuum created will not be filed by NATO (perhaps at the best some European parts of Russia..) but all Siberia and Caucus wold be Chinese.

    Russia is gone unless they go all nuclear and ALL noncovential.. they are done.

    Perhaps they can mine those sensitive passages and gain some control over escalating conflict further.. perhaps fighting ongoing embargo by its own actions to secure equal or worse misery to the NATO alliance like mining the Suec Chanel’s passage, Giblartar? And major Harbours on the US Coast.. just before the allout Armageddon or have them “Balkanized” with the Soros boys.. and that scenario is most likely because corruption and treason is rampant in Russia.

    Reinhard Gehlen was a master of Cold War but bear in mind he lost the real war the one that he fought for his Fuhrer. In Balkans it worked like a miracle.. Russia and China saw the way that game was played.. Russia did absolutely nothing to prepare.. but China did learned and is preparing

    The “New” World Order is existential threat for the all global species.. because it will be eventually.. well it will be for certainly be challenged by someone? China? Asia? Arabs?

    China will not have compunctions to go all out when it seized the opportunity to its benefit.. strategic encroachment into the (they have some long standing disputes with Russia in Siberia and perhaps Mongolia and BEYOND) it is its best opportunity to change its global strategic footprint PERMANENTLY after that the game is over

  • Ed L

    wonder if the Russians have enough tank crews for there 20,000 plus Tanks, China vs Russia, it would a darn big air/land war.

  • Don Bacon

    great journalism
    –USS McCampbell (DDG-85) steamed through Peter the Great Bay in the Sea of Japan
    –sailed in the vicinity of Peter the Great Bay
    –Moscow asserts the entire bay as Russian territorial water