Arleigh Burke guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur (DDG-73) was approached Sunday (Sept 30) morning in the South China Sea by a Chinese warship in what U.S. Navy officials are calling an unsafe and unprofessional maneuver.
At about 8:30 a.m. local time, Decatur was conducting freedom of navigation operations (FONOps) in the vicinity of Gaven Reef in the South China Sea. China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) Luyang-class destroyer approached USS Decatur which was operating within 12 nautical miles of the Gaven and Johnson Reefs in the Spratly Islands.
The (People’s Republic of China) PRC destroyer conducted a series of increasingly aggressive maneuvers accompanied by warnings for Decatur to depart the area. The PRC destroyer approached within 45 yards of Decatur’s bow, after which Decatur maneuvered to prevent a collision.