The United States Marine Corps is planning to relocate nearly 15% of its service personnel in order to counter China’s increasing presence in the South China Sea. Nearly 30,000 Marines will be involved in this relocation.
The Marines have 190,000 members that specialize in expeditionary warfare. The military branch is usually mobilized for regional conflicts or for the quick delivery of combined-arms task forces with the United States Navy.
The purpose of this relocation is most likely to reduce the reaction time of American forces in situations that could arise in the Asia-Pacific region of the world. It is said to represent a major component of President Barack Obama’s “Asia Rebalancing” strategy.
Meanwhile, the Marine Corps have mentioned land reclamation activities by China, as well as the country’s constructions on disputed islands that are located in the South China Sea. By placing military personnel in the area, the United States will be ready to potentially engage China if the country continues to unnecessarily expand its territory.
Additionally, the United States is also monitoring other activities going on in the region, such as North Korea’s development of its nuclear program and the increasing amount of Russian aircrafts in Japanese air space.
Elsewhere, it has been reported that the four major strategic weapons of America will be placed either in South Korea or at the United States naval base in Guam by next month. This should serve as a warning to North Korea not to conduct any more nuclear tests.
The four strategic weapons include nuclear powered aircraft carriers, B-2 stealth bombers, F-22 stealth fighters and nuclear submarines.
In August, three B-2 stealth bombers were relocated to Guam. Meanwhile the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier and two F-22 fighters are scheduled to arrive in South Korea next month. Furthermore, the RQ-4 Global Hawk drone should be put on display at the Seoul International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition that takes place from October 20 to 25.
Earlier this month, China reportedly constructed an airstrip on its artificial island of Mischief Reef. This airstrip is the third one that China has constructed in the South China Sea.