US Navy guided missile destroyer to challenge China’s territorial claim today

The United States Navy will be sending an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer to challenge China’s sovereignty claim in West Philippine Sea. US Defense officials, CNN and Reuters report, said that an American warship will be sent within 12 nautical miles territorial waters of China’s artificial islands in Spratly Islands within the coming hours.

The mission to challenge China’s sovereignty claim was given to USS Lassen (DDG-82), as approved by US President Barack Obama. The reports add that US Navy reconnaissance plane will be flying to support the said mission.

USS Lassen is homeported to Yokosuka Naval Base in Yokosuka, Japan. Lassen is one of eight destroyers assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15 which are forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan.

USS Lassen recently visited Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia for a port call. Prior to visit to Malaysia, “Lassen spent the last four weeks on a routine patrol in international waters in the South China Sea, in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region,” USS Lassen Public Affairs, Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Corey T. Jones said.

USS Lassen left Malaysia last week.