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Claim: The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan is currently in Mindanao in anticipation of China’s impending attack on Taiwan.
Why we fact-checked this: The YouTube video containing the claim was posted by the YouTube channel Ella Vloggs, which Rappler has fact-checked several times. The channel has over 305,000 subscribers as of writing.
What the video shows: The video’s title says, “PINAKA MALAKAS NA BARKONG PANDIGMA NG AMERICA NASA MINDANAO NA!” (America’s strongest warship is now in Mindanao!)
Text flashed at the 1:19 mark reads: “US[S] Reagan ng America naka ready na sa Pilipinas sakaling sumiklab ang giyera sa Taiwan.” (USS Reagan is in the Philippines and is ready in case war breaks out in Taiwan).
Wrong place and ship: The video was taken in Norway, not Mindanao, and the vessel shown is a different ship, not the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76).
YouTube user Jan Woldstad posted the original video on June 3, 2023. According to the video’s title, the ship shown is the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R Ford (CVN-78) leaving Oslo Harbor on May 29, 2023 after a port call.
The warship sailed into Oslo on May 24 for maritime security activities amid tension between NATO and Russia over the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Reuters reported. The two-week training exercises showed Norway’s “close bilateral relationship with the USA and increases the credibility of collective defence and deterrence,” the Norwegian Armed Forces said.
The rare visit – only the third by a US aircraft carrier since the end of the Vietnam War – comes amid ongoing tensions in the South China Sea. Rear Admiral Patrick Hannifin, commander of the US Navy’s Task Force 70, said the visit reinforces the two countries’ partnership and “commitment to confronting shared challenges in the maritime domain.”
Not in the Philippines: There are no reports or announcements that the USS Ronald Reagan is in the Philippines. The aircraft carrier last made a port visit in Manila on October 18, 2022, a report from the United States Indo-Pacific Command shows.
According to a Philstar.com report on June 21, the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group passed through the South China Sea, but did not make a port visit in the Philippines.
False claims: Rappler has previously fact checked videos from the same YouTube channel, which posts false claims related to military activities or acquisition of military assets:
- FACT CHECK: The Philippines has no Chinook helicopter factory
- FACT CHECK: Video shows a Japanese F-2 fighter plane, not a Chinese jet
- FACT CHECK: Video falsely shows Chinese ship bombed by Australia
- FACT CHECK: The Philippines didn’t buy an MV-22 Osprey helicopter from the US
– Lorenz Pasion/Rappler.com
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