MANILA, Philippines — United States Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced late Friday that he will be paying a visit to the USS John Stennis (CVN-74), a Nimitz-class nuclear-powered super carrier now sailing in the South China Sea.
He made this announcement during his speech at the closing ceremonies of the “Balikatan” exercises at Tejeros Hall, AFP Commissioned Officers’ Club, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.
“Later today I will visit the aircraft carrier, USS John C. Stennis sailing in the South China sea and after so, sailors and marines, that is after some of its sailors and marines participated with you in ‘Balikatan,’ just as this year is the 32nd Balikatan extending back to the early 1980s,” Carter said.
The USS John C. Stennis is the seventh Nimitz-class nuclear-powered supercarrier in the United States Navy, named for Senator John C. Stennis of Mississippi.
She was commissioned on Dec. 9 1995. Her home port is Bremerton, Washington.
The USS John C. Stennis is capable of carrying 90 fixed and rotary wing aircraft and has a displacement of 103,300 tons.
“The Stennis has sailed in these waters many times before, and sailed not just here in the South China Sea but all around the vast Asia-Pacific, six times in the last several years, so far of this deployment it has operated near the Republic of Korea, through the Sea of Japan, in Guam and now the South China Sea,” he added.
“And in each ‘Balikatan’ and each cruise by the Stennis with each new multilateral-exercise and each new defense agreement we had a stitch to the fabric of the region’s security network, this is the network, peaceful, principled, and inclusive America continues to stand for and stand with, ” the American official said. PNA/northboundasia.com