An American guided-missile destroyer and a Royal Canadian Navy frigate recently undertook a significant joint mission in the Indo-Pacific region. The USS Ralph Johnson (DDG-114) and HMCS Ottawa (FFH-341) successfully completed a tandem transit through the Taiwan Strait, as announced by the U.S. 7th Fleet. This transit follows their participation in joint exercises with Japanese ships in the East China Sea and near Okinawa.
This strategic maneuver serves as a strong display of solidarity between the United States and its allies and partners in the region. The ships navigated through a designated corridor in the strait, which falls beyond the territorial waters of any coastal state. By doing so, they assert the principles of freedom of navigation and overflight as enshrined in international law. The joint transit emphasizes the commitment of the United States and its allies to uphold a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
During earlier exercises, the USS Ralph Johnson and HMCS Ottawa trained alongside the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s JS Izumo (DDH-183) and JS Samidare (DD-106) as part of the trilateral Noble Stingray exercise. The drills included anti-submarine warfare operations, enhancing the coordination and interoperability of the participating naval forces.
Notably, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation captured footage of a People’s Liberation Army Navy guided-missile destroyer closely shadowing the joint formation. The Chinese destroyer, identified as CNS Hohhot (161), monitored the convoy from a close distance in the East China Sea. Although it remains unknown whether Hohhot continued its surveillance during the transit through the Taiwan Strait, this incident highlights the ongoing complexities in the region.
This recent joint operation underlines the enduring cooperation between the United States and Canada, as well as the importance of working alongside regional partners to ensure a secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific. By upholding the principles of international law, this alliance reaffirms its commitment to freedom of navigation and maintaining peace and stability in the region.
Q: What is the purpose of the USS Ralph Johnson and HMCS Ottawa transit through the Taiwan Strait?
A: The purpose of the joint transit is to demonstrate the commitment of the United States, Canada, and their allies to a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Q: Which ships participated in the trilateral exercise Noble Stingray?
A: Alongside the USS Ralph Johnson and HMCS Ottawa, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s JS Izumo and JS Samidare participated in the Noble Stingray exercise.
Q: What incident was captured by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation?
A: The CBC footage captured a People’s Liberation Army Navy guided-missile destroyer, identified as CNS Hohhot, closely following the joint formation of ships in the East China Sea.
Q: What does the joint transit emphasize?
A: The joint transit emphasizes the commitment of the United States and its allies to uphold the principles of freedom of navigation and overflight in accordance with international law.