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US Pacific commander joins 7-hour surveillance of South China Sea; is 'pleased' with spy plane

  • FILE - In this Friday, July 17, 2015 file photo, U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Scott Swift talks during an interview with journalists Friday, July 17, 2015 in Manila, Philippines. Swift joined a seven-hour surveillance flight over the South China Sea on board one of America's newest spy planes, a move over the weekend that will likely annoy China. He joined the surveillance mission on board a P-8A Poseidon plane on Saturday to witness the aircraft's full range of capabilities, the U.S. Pacific Fleet said Sunday, July 20. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, File)

    FILE - In this Friday, July 17, 2015 file photo, U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Scott Swift talks during an interview with journalists Friday, July 17, 2015 in Manila, Philippines. Swift joined a seven-hour surveillance flight over the South China Sea on board one of America's newest spy planes, a move over the weekend that will likely annoy China. He joined the surveillance mission on board a P-8A Poseidon plane on Saturday to witness the aircraft's full range of capabilities, the U.S. Pacific Fleet said Sunday, July 20. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - This aerial file photo taken May 11, 2015 through a glass window of a military plane shows China's alleged on-going reclamation of Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. The new U.S. commander of the Pacific Fleet joined a seven-hour surveillance flight over the South China Sea on board one of America's newest spy planes, a move over the weekend that will likely annoy China. Adm. Scott Swift joined the surveillance mission on board a P-8A Poseidon plane on Saturday to witness the aircraft's full range of capabilities, the U.S. Pacific Fleet said Sunday, July 19. (Ritchie B. Tongo/Pool Photo via AP, File)

    FILE - This aerial file photo taken May 11, 2015 through a glass window of a military plane shows China's alleged on-going reclamation of Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. The new U.S. commander of the Pacific Fleet joined a seven-hour surveillance flight over the South China Sea on board one of America's newest spy planes, a move over the weekend that will likely annoy China. Adm. Scott Swift joined the surveillance mission on board a P-8A Poseidon plane on Saturday to witness the aircraft's full range of capabilities, the U.S. Pacific Fleet said Sunday, July 19. (Ritchie B. Tongo/Pool Photo via AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

The new U.S. commander of the Pacific Fleet has joined a seven-hour surveillance flight over the South China Sea on board one of America's newest spy planes.

The U.S. Pacific Fleet said Sunday that Adm. Scott Swift joined the surveillance mission on board a P-8A Poseidon plane on Saturday to witness the aircraft's full range of capabilities.

The Navy has acquired and plans to purchase more of the multi-mission aircraft, which can be used for anti-submarine warfare and surveillance missions, to replace its aging P-3 Orion fleet.

U.S. Navy Capt. Charlie Brown said Swift "was pleased with the capabilities of the Poseidon."

Swift assured U.S. allies Friday that American forces are ready to respond to any contingency in the South China Sea, where territorial disputes have set off uncertainties.