United States Navy Seventh Fleet Vice Admiral Robert Thomas said the fleet he is currently commanding is ready to support in case Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei, the Philippines and Malaysia agreed to conduct joint patrols in South China Sea.
“Perhaps easier said than done, from both a policy and organization perspective, such an initiative could help crystallize the operational objectives in the training events that ASEAN navies want to pursue,” Thomas said at a session with navy chiefs at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition on Tuesday as quoted by Bloomberg.
“If ASEAN members were to take the lead in organizing something along those lines, trust me, the U.S. 7th Fleet would be ready to support,” he added.
Philippine Navy Flag Officer-in-Command Vice Admiral Jesus Millan agrees with the the Vice Admiral Thomas. He said that all countries concerned should agree in working together to protect freedom of navigation, the safety and security of seaborne trade and international shipping in South China Sea.