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article imageUSS Freedom deployed in south-western Pacific

By Robert G Cope     Mar 12, 2013 in World
San Diego - With the increasing variety of conflicting island and seaway issues among South-western Pacific nations, it comes as no surprise the American Navy is deploying the first of at least four light combat vessels of the new Freedom Class to this region.
A second-term initiative, Barack Obama's renewed focus on the Pacific is evident. And of direct interest also to Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, and even the tiny republics of Brunei and Singapore.
On Monday USS Freedom set a course for Singapore via Pearl Harbor.
Its home port is in San Diego.
Built in Wisconsin, half the weight of a destroyer and about the length of a football field with only about 100 seamen, it is speedy and suited to patrol among the dense islands and across shallower sea-beds. And it is well-suited for joint exercises with the smaller ships of the region's navies. That according to a Washington state news source.
As a Fox News report says, “China is on the minds of countries in the region too.”
Tom Huxley, Asia Executive Director of the International Institute for Security Studies, is quoted in the same Fox News report as saying, "Freedom's deployment out of Singapore encourages the U.S. to stay involved in Southeast Asia as a counterweight to China."
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