US USS George Washington Aircraft supercarrier Arrive Vietnam, Philippines

USS George Washington (CVN-73) is an American nuclear-powered supercarrier, the sixth ship in the Nimitz class and the fourth United States Navy ship to be named after George Washington, the first President of the United States. It was built by Newport News Shipbuilding and was commissioned 4 July 1992.

US shows its maritime resolve in disputed West Philippine Sea (South China Sea)

US USS George Washington Aircraft Carrier arrived Vietnam Saturday and will depart and scheduled to Arrive Manila this Wednesday October 24, 2012

America sent a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier on a cruise through the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea),  on Saturday, projecting its power in waters that are fast becoming a focal point of its strategic rivalry with Beijing.

The USS George Washington's mission could raise hackles in China, which is locked in disputes with Vietnam, the Philippines and other governments over ownership of islands in the region.

It will likely reassure the jittery smaller nations of Washington's support in their tussles with China, whose growing economic and military might is leading to a greater assertiveness in pressing its claims in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). The United States is building closer economic and military alliances with Vietnam and other nations in the region as part of a "pivot" away from the Middle East to Asia.

China is also locked in an unexpectedly fierce dispute with American ally Japan over the ownership of islands in the nearby East China Sea. On Friday, Beijing staged military exercises near the islands to demonstrate its ability to enforce its claims.

China claims nearly all of the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), where the U.S. says it has a national interest in ensuring freedom of navigation in an area crossed by vital shipping lanes. Vietnam, the Philippines and several other Asian nations also claim parts of the sea.

The U.S. Navy regularly patrols the Asia-Pacific region, and the trip by the George Washington off the coast of Vietnam is its second in two years.

A second aircraft carrier, the USS John C. Stennis, is also conducting operations in the western Pacific region, according to the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

"China will take this as another expression by the United States of its desire to maintain regional domination," said Denny Roy, a senior fellow at the East-West Center in Hawaii. "The U.S also wants to send a message to the region that it is here for the long haul .... and that it wants to back up international law."

Vietnam is pleased to accept help from its one-time foe America as a hedge against its giant neighbor China. It has reacted angrily to recent moves by Beijing to establish a garrison on one of the Paracel islands, which Vietnam also claims. The United States also criticized the move by Beijing.

"Vietnam requests China to respect the sovereignty of Vietnam and refrain from taking any other similar wrongdoings," the Foreign Ministry said this month.

While most analysts believe military confrontation in the waters is highly unlikely, they say tensions are likely to increase as China continues pressing its claims and building its navy.

US Navy super carrier to visit Manila

US USS George Washington Aircraft Carrier US Navy's largest aircraft carriers is scheduled to arrive in Manila Wednesday Oct 24 2012.

In a press statement, the US Embassy in Manila said the nuclear-powered USS George Washington will visit the Philippines on October 24, Wednesday, "for a goodwill visit that will further enhance the strong historic ties between the United States and the Republic of the Philippines."

It said the U.S. and Philippine Navy counterparts will conduct community relations projects and professional exchanges.

The American nuclear-powered super carrier is the fourth United States Navy ship to be named after George Washington, the first President of the United States.

Commissioned on July 4, 1992, the aircraft carrier can accommodate approximately 80 aircraft, around 6,250 crew members, and with a flight deck of 4.5 acres (18,000 m²) in size.

The US aircraft carrier will be welcomed by the Philippine Navy and will be escorted to another point in Manila Bay. With a report from Philippine Information Agency.

Fox news, ABS-CBN News

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