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In a massive show of strength that analysts said was meant to reassure nervous allies in the Asia-Pacific region, the U.S. Navy deployed two aircraft carrier strike groups for an exercise in the Philippine Sea on Saturday.

The exercises, which came ahead of a key international court ruling on China’s claims in the disputed South China Sea, brought together the USS John C. Stennis and USS Ronald Reagan, and featured over 12,000 sailors, 140 aircraft and six other ships, according to a statement released by the U.S. Pacific Command.

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