US Navy's Japan-based aircraft carrier heads home

2015-05-18 10:27

Sailors in dress whites lined the 333-meter long deck of the US Navy's Japan-based aircraft carrier as it headed for home Monday, to be replaced by a newer version of the same ship in the fall.

Navy Rear Admiral John Alexander told reporters that China's aircraft carrier ambitions demonstrate the continuing importance of the mammoth ships in the western Pacific.

 (Toru Yamanka, AFP)

 (Toru Yamanka, AFP)

"Everybody asks whether the aircraft carriers are obsolete," he said at a dockside news conference before the USS George Washington left America's naval base in Yokosuka, south of Tokyo. "I would say when other countries are building an aircraft carrier, they're doing it for a reason, and the fact is you can actually have a bigger influence in the region."

The nuclear-powered George Washington will conduct exercises in the region on its way home, he said, but he wouldn't specify whether any would be in the contested waters of the South China Sea.

Alexander said the USS Ronald Reagan is due to arrive "later in the fall" to be the new flagship of the Yokosuka-based carrier group. The George Washington had been based in Japan since 2008.

 (Toru Yamanka, AFP)

 (Toru Yamanka, AFP)

Read more on:    us  |  japan  |  navy  |  maritime

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