Former Interior Secretary Rafael Alunan III made a post in his Facebook account today saying he received report, July 1, that China’s PLA Navy challenged four United States F-18 Super Hornets from Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5 deployed to Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). The incident allegedly happened in West Philippine Sea above the Kalayaan Island Group.
As of July 1, aircraft carrier USS George Washington is in Philippine Sea. The aircraft carrier with its embarked air wing is on patrol in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
According to Armed Forces of the Philippines Public Affairs Office Chief Lieutenant Colonel Harold Cabunoc the military has not received report on the said incident.
“We have not received any report about this incident,” Lieutenant Colonel Harold Cabunoc said.
Alunan said he received a message saying “4 F-18 Super Hornets from CVW 5 aboard USS George Washington CVN 73 were again challenged by the PLA Navy above the disputed island group (KIG).”
The PLA Navy allegedly threatened to scramble a squadron of “JT 15”, but the American pilots ignored PLA Navy’s warning. Lt.Cmdr. Marion “Mitch” Paulson reportedly “ordered the Super Hornets to switch on their radar weapons systems and continued on with their mission and sortie.”
“Lt.Cmdr. Marion “Mitch” Paulson responded that they were over Philippine territorial waters and were are conducting routine patrol flights on behalf of the Republic of the Philippines,” says in the post of Alunan.