The USS Dewey sailed within 12 miles (20 kilometers) of Mischief Reef, in the Spratly Island chain, on Wednesday, in a "freedom of navigation operation," according to a US official.
While he didn't confirm details of this particular operation, Pentagon Spokesperson Capt. Jeff Davis told CNN, "We operate in the Asia-Pacific region on a daily basis, including in the South China Sea."
"We operate in accordance with international law. We fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows," he added.