August 27, 2020 – USS Mustin (DDG 89) conducted a freedom of navigation operation in the South China Sea today.
The U.S. Navy conducts freedom of navigation operations, or FONOPs, to contest excessive maritime claims and reinforce laws of the sea in international waters. USS Mustin, based in Yokosuka, Japan, conducted the FONOP in the vicinity of the Paracel Islands to ensure critical shipping lanes in the area remain free and open.
More than $5 trillion in international trade transits the South China Sea each year. Ships assigned to the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet routinely conduct FONOPs in the region to refute illegal claims to international waters and limitations of freedom of navigation, and USS Mustin’s operation demonstrates the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.