PHILIPPINE SEA, –
On April 3 (local time) USS Port Royal (CG 73) asserted navigational rights and freedoms in the vicinity of Sri Lanka by conducting innocent passage through Sri Lankan territorial sea, without requesting prior permission, consistent with international law. Sri Lanka requires foreign warships to obtain permission prior to transiting territorial seas, a claim inconsistent with international law. This freedom of navigation operation ("FONOP") upheld the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of the sea recognized in international law by challenging Sri Lanka's excessive maritime claim.
U.S. Forces operate in the Indo-Pacific region on a daily basis. All operations are designed in accordance with international law and demonstrate that the United States will fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows.
We conduct routine and regular Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOPs), as we have done in the past and will continue to in the future. FONOPs are not about any one country, nor are they about making political statements.