The US Navy says the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier is conducting operations in the Philippine Sea

: The US Navy aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan is seen during its visit to Hong Kong, China on November 21, 2018. (Reuters / Yuyang Wang / File Photo / File Photo)

The United States Navy said Thursday that the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan was conducting scheduled operations in the Philippine Sea in the western Pacific, a 5.7 million square kilometer (2.2 million square mile) stretch of ocean that encompasses the waters south-east of Taiwan.

“The USS Ronald Reagan and its strike group are underway in the Philippine Sea and continue normal scheduled operations as part of its routine patrol in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific,” said a spokesman for the seventh. US Navy fleet.

Brought home at the Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan, the Reagan is the only forward deployed aircraft carrier in the United States Navy.

—Report by Tim Kelly Editing by Shri Navaratnam