Lt. j.g. Forrest “Zeke” Zetterberg disembarking from E-1B Vietnam mission. Forrest Zetterberg Photo
The following is a first person account of the events over the Gulf of Tonkin on Aug. 4, 1964. Another view of the Gulf of Tonkin incident can be found in the August, 2010 issue of Proceedings.
At approximately 0355 on the morning of Aug. 4, 1964 in the South China Sea, the aircraft carrier USS Constellation (CVA-64), was steaming toward the Gulf of Tonkin at as high a speed as she could without losing her accompanying destroyers. Despite an attack by North Vietnamese PT boats two days earlier, the U.S. government had decided to send the destroyers USS Maddox (DD-731) and Turner Joy (DD-951), on a route similar to the one where that attack had occurred.
The carrier USS Ticonderoga was already operating in the area and Constellation, though still about 200 miles away, was rapidly moving into position to provide support. Read More
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
Vietnam’s Vice Defense Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh told Reuters on Monday at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore that the country expects to receive patrol boats from Japan early next year. Read More
The site of alleged reclamation of land for a Chinese airfield. Philippines Government Photo
Following a tumultuous week in which the United States openly accused People’s Liberation Army members of participating in an industrial espionage effort, and historic joint naval drills held between China and Russia were held, the ruckus over the South China Sea isn’t winding down. Read More
Adm. Jonathan Greenert testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee on May 6, 2014. US Navy Photo
The sea service’s expanding presence in the Asia-Pacific is already starting to pay dividends in tamping down tensions between China and U.S allies in the region, the Navy’s top officer said Monday. Read More
File photo of the Haiyang Shiyou 981 oilrig. Xinhua Photo
Chinese officials are claiming the U.S. is stoking international discord over a disputed drilling operation in an area of the South China Sea in territory claimed by both China and Vietnam, according to a Tuesday statement from the Chinese Foreign Ministry. Read More
Chinese ships firing water cannons at Vietnamese patrol vessels. Vietnam National Border Committee Photo
Vietnamese officials accused Chinese ships of ramming patrol boats on May 3, near the $1 billion Chinese oil rig operating in waters both Beijing and Hanoi claim as their exclusive territory. Read More
China National Offshore Oil Corporation Oil rig. CNOOC Photo
Vietnamese officals are calling the presence of an offshore Chinese oilrig off the coast of Vietnam “illegal and invalid,” fueling ongoing territorial disputes between Hanoi and Beijing, according to a Monday report by the Reuters wire service. Read More
A 1947 map of China’s maritime claims.
The following is from the March, 14 2014 Congressional Research Service report, Maritime Territorial and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Disputes Involving China: Issues for Congress
China’s actions for asserting and defending its maritime territorial and exclusive economic zone (EEZ) claims in the East China (ECS) and South China Sea (SCS), particularly since late 2013, have heightened concerns among observers that ongoing disputes over these waters and some of the islands within them could lead to a crisis or conflict between China and a neighboring country such as Japan, the Philippines, or Vietnam, and that the United States could be drawn into such a crisis or conflict as a result of obligations the United States has under bilateral security treaties with Japan and the Philippines. Read More
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang on March 18, 2014.
Leaders from Japan and Vietnam have signed an agreement to expand maritime security relations between the two countries against a backdrop of an expansionist China. Read More
Crew members on board a P-8A Poseidon assigned to Patrol Squadron (VP) 16 man their workstations while assisting in search and rescue operations for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 on March, 16 2014. US Navy Photo
USS Kidd (DDG-100) has been pulled from search and rescue operations to look for a Malaysian Airlines plane that went missing last week, according to U.S. 7th Fleet in a statement released on Tuesday morning. Read More