HMS Argyll with USS McCampbell and USNS Henry J Kaiser in South China Sea

UK Conducts Joint Drills In South China Sea With US

HMS Argyll with USS McCampbell and USNS Henry J Kaiser in South China Sea

HMS Argyll takes part in a replenishment operation (Picture: Royal Navy).

A Royal Navy frigate has been involved in joint drills in the South China Sea with the United States.

HMS Argyll is part of two days of events in the region, along with the US Navy's USS McCampbell.

After spending Christmas just outside Tokyo in the US Navy’s Seventh Fleet home of Yokosuka, Argyll began the first homeward leg of her nine-month Asia-Pacific deployment.

The British vessel conducted communication drills, combined manoeuvres and sent some of her crew to the US warship to trade places with Americans in order for personnel to get used to different routines, terminology and working practices.

“Following on from our successful time in north-east Asia, where we’ve been contributing to promoting regional security and prosperity, we were delighted with the opportunity to train alongside our closest ally," said Argyll’s Commanding Officer Commander Toby Shaughnessy.

“Professional engagement with our British counterparts allows us the opportunity to build upon our existing strong relationships and learn from each other."

HMS Argyll with USS McCampbell and USNS Henry J Kaiser in South China Sea
The Navy vessel is part of two days of joint drills (Picture: Royal Navy).

It is Argyll’s second exercise with the Seventh Fleet during her month in Japan, after conducting a 'hunt' with the Japanese helicopter carrier Izumo as they searched for an American nuclear submarine lurking in waters off Japan.

The frigate returns to the UK in March.

China's claims in the region's waters are disputed by nations such as Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Brunei and Vietnam.

Earlier this month, the US Navy was criticised by China for "provocation" after the McCampbell sailed near disputed islands in the South China Sea.

Last September, the Royal Navy defended HMS Albion’s entry into the South China Sea stating the vessel was exercising "her rights for freedom of navigation".

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