Rear Adm. Stephen Koehler, director of operations at Indo-Pacific Command, said that China is slowly and methodically building up military outposts in the South China Sea, putting missile and electronic warfare systems on them. The U.S. and other allies and partners in the region have beefed up operations near the human-made islands to try to blunt China's development, but none of that has appeared to work.
Most recently China deployed aircraft to Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly Islands and is now operating them out of there.
Koehler stressed that while it's not likely there will be three carrier strike groups consistently in the Pacific over the long term, it's something we can do when we want to. This is ‘the new normal’.
A detachment of troops stationed at a distance from the main force, usually at a station in a remote or sparsely populated location.
The outlying Kinmen Islands are an outpost of Taiwan just off the coast of Mainland China.