Arabian Sea –
On April 7, 2021 (local time) USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) asserted navigational rights and freedoms approximately 130 nautical miles west of the Lakshadweep Islands, inside India’s exclusive economic zone, without requesting India’s prior consent, consistent with international law. India requires prior consent for military exercises or maneuvers in its exclusive economic zone or continental shelf, 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 India’s excessive maritime claims.
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 one country, nor are they about making political statements.