US Military Releases Photos Of Chinese Warships off the coast of Alaska

Interactions between US Coast Guard Cutters USCGC Bertholf (WMSL-750) and USCGC Kimball (WMSL-756), and PLAN vessels were safe and professional with verbal communications. (Photo Credit: DVIDSHub)

The U.S. Coast Guard has released several photos showing a group of warships just 46 miles off Alaska’s Aleutian Island coast. The photos were taken last month when the ships from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) arrived in the area.

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf was in the area on August 30, 2021, while patrolling near Alaska’s Aleutian Islands.

“The PLAN task force included a guided-missile cruiser, a guided-missile destroyer, a general intelligence vessel, and an auxiliary vessel. The Chinese vessels conducted military and surveillance operations during their deployment to the Bering Sea and North Pacific Ocean,” a statement from the U.S. Coast Guard revealed.

Along with the release of the photos the Coast Guard said, “All interactions between the U.S. Coast Guard and PLAN were in accordance with international laws and norms… At no point did the PLAN task force enter U.S. territorial waters.”


The Japanese Ministry of Defense Joint Staff belives the Chinese warships included the Type 055 destroyer Nanchang, Type 052D destroyer Guiyang, replenishment ship 903, and electronic surveillance ship 799.

The official DVIDS  report didn’t name the vessels but observers noted that a flotilla fitting the descriptions provided in the tweet above had sailed east through he Soya Straight into the Pacific Ocean on August 24. According to Global Times the “timing and location would logically fit together.”

According to Military News, China considers the Type 055 destroyer to be among its most powerful warships.

In response to the Chinese presence just off the Alaskan coast, the Bertholf had support from cutter Kimball, along with the 420-foot medium icebreaker Healy. Those ships routinely patrol the Bering Sea and Arctic region.

As the Chinese Navy continues to quickly expand its capabilities, they are expected to increase their number of far-sea training missions. The United States Navy engages in similar training missions off the coast of China.

James Kosur

James Kosur is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE