Guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG-65) conducted a previously unannounced Taiwan Strait transit earlier this month, Adm. Samuel Paparo, commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, told reporters on Friday.
Benfold transited the strait Nov. 5, the fourth transit of a U.S. warship since July. Benfold last sailed through the strait in July, USNI News reported. That was followed by passage by USS Antietam (CG-54) and USS Chancellorsville (CG-62) in August and USS Higgins (DDG-76) in September.
China did not make any public statements in response to Benfolds November transit. The U.S. has been sending warships through the strait about once a month, Paparo told reporters.
Benfold just wrapped exercising with units from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, the Royal Australian Navy and Royal Canadian Navy as part of exercise Keen Sword, according to a Indo-Pacific Command news release.
“KS23 was designed to enhance Japan-U.S. readiness and interoperability while strengthening the bilateral relationship and demonstrating U.S. resolve to support the security interests of allies and partners in the region. Keen Sword does so by providing militaries opportunities to train across a variety of mission areas in realistic scenarios, enhancing readiness, interoperability, and building credible deterrence,” reads a statement from 7th Fleet.
Benfold was joined by the Japan-based USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), the embarked Carrier Air Wing Five (CVW 5) Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15 and guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG-62).