Fact checks on militaries

FACT CHECK: Decommissioned US submarine not in Philippine Sea for maritime operations


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FACT CHECK: Decommissioned US submarine not in Philippine Sea for maritime operations
It’s been almost two years since the USS Oklahoma City was decommissioned

Claim: The Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Oklahoma City (SSN 723) is in the Philippine Sea to conduct maritime security operations.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The YouTube video bearing the claim was posted on May 2 and has 66,086 views, 724 likes, and 100 comments as of writing.

The video is titled: “US Navy Ballistic Missile Submarine Arrive in the Philippine Sea.”

The bottom line: The USS Oklahoma City (SSN 723) is not in active service with the US Navy. A news article from the US Naval Sea Systems Command and a Facebook post from the Oklahoma City Facebook page show that the submarine was decommissioned on May 20, 2022, after more than 34 years of service.

Old clip used: The timing of the video’s upload made it seem that the USS Oklahoma City was recently in the Philippine Sea. However, the clip shown in the video was originally uploaded to the US Navy’s official YouTube channel on May 6, 2020, showing the routine operations of sailors assigned to the submarine.


Video posted during Balikatan 2024: The YouTube video containing the claim was posted in the middle of Balikatan 2024, the annual joint training exercise of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the United States held from April 22 to May 10.

Touted as the “largest” Balikatan held, 16,000 troops from both countries participated in the military exercise. (WATCH: As Balikatan 2024 closes, PH and US plan ‘full battle simulation’ in 2025)

The military drills come at a time of heightened tension in the region, as China continues to assert its expansive claims over the entire South China Sea despite a 2016 arbitral ruling in favor of the Philippines. The US has repeatedly stressed its “ironclad” commitment to support its ally amid “dangerous” Chinese conduct in the region. – Lorenz Pasion/Rappler.com

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. You may also report dubious claims to the #FactsFirstPH tipline by messaging Rappler on Facebook or Newsbreak via Twitter direct message. You may also report through our Viber fact check chatbot. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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