China Cries Foul as USS Benfold Demonstrates FONOP in Spratley Islands

On Sept. 8, USS Benfold (DDG 65) asserted navigational rights and freedoms in the Spratly Islands, consistent with international law. This freedom of navigation operation (“FONOP”) upheld the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of the sea. USS Benfold demonstrated that Mischief Reef, a low-tide elevation in its natural state, is not entitled to a territorial sea under international law. The…

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USNS Charles Drew Conducts FONOP on South Korea

On March 31 (local time) USNS Charles Drew (T-AKE 10) asserted navigational rights and freedoms in the vicinity of the Kuk-To Island, consistent with international law. This freedom of navigation operation (“FONOP”) upheld the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of the sea recognized in international law by challenging the Republic of Korea’s excessive straight baseline claim. U.S. Forces operate in…

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USS Russell Conducts FONOP in Spratly Islands

February 17, 2021 – Today, USS Russell (DDG 59) asserted navigational rights and freedoms in the Spratly Islands, consistent with international law. This freedom of navigation operation (“FONOP”) upheld the rights, freedoms and lawful uses of the sea recognized in international law by challenging unlawful restrictions on innocent passage imposed by China, Vietnam and Taiwan. Unlawful and sweeping maritime claims…

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USS Mustin conducts freedom of navigation operation in South China Sea

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…

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