US Navy Dual Carrier Ops in South China Sea Reaffirms Commitment to Regional Security

 In China, Indo-Pacific, Australia, Forces & Capabilities, Oceans, Environment

Two of the US Navy’s Indo-Pacific based car­ri­er strike groups, the Nimitz and Ronald Reagan Strike Groups, have con­duct­ed joint car­ri­er oper­a­tions sup­port­ing sea power while deployed to the South China Sea in sup­port of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

High-end inte­grat­ed exer­cis­es build unmatched flex­i­bil­i­ty, endurance, maneu­ver­abil­i­ty, and fire­pow­er in an all-domain warfight­ing envi­ron­ment. These efforts sup­port endur­ing US com­mit­ments to stand up for the right of all nations to fly, sail and oper­ate wher­ev­er inter­na­tion­al law allows.

Comprised of both  Nimitz and Ronald Reagan Strike Groups, the Carrier Strike Force con­duct­ed sev­er­al tac­ti­cal exer­cis­es designed to max­imise air defence capa­bil­i­ties, and extend the reach of long range pre­ci­sion mar­itime strikes from car­ri­er-based air­craft in a rapid­ly evolv­ing area of oper­a­tions.

Commander Stanton Hanley, air oper­a­tions offi­cer, USS Ronald Reagan, said, “Doing the basic skills well, like effi­cient air­craft launch and recov­ery, is the foun­da­tion of all our tac­tics. Maintaining our high oper­a­tional tempo pro­vides the train­ing and rep­e­ti­tions nec­es­sary to ensure we can launch large scale strikes as a matter of rou­tine.”

Air defence in a Carrier Strike Force incor­po­rates the capa­bil­i­ties of the embarked fixed and rotary wing air­craft, along with Aegis guided-mis­sile cruis­ers and destroy­ers. This pro­vides multi-lay­ered, early detec­tion capa­bil­i­ties to defend the force against poten­tial air­borne threats.

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During air defence and strike exer­cis­es, air­craft from Nimitz and Reagan sim­u­late enemy attacks test­ing the force’s abil­i­ty to detect, inter­cept and engage threats. The exer­cis­es increase pilot pro­fi­cien­cy while giving ship­board tac­ti­cal watch standers hands-on expe­ri­ence co-ordi­nat­ing defence in a real­is­tic envi­ron­ment.

Captain Todd Whalen, com­modore, Destroyer Squadron Nine, explained the impor­tance of inte­grat­ing the var­i­ous capa­bil­i­ties rep­re­sent­ed in a car­ri­er strike group, “The ships and sailors in Destroyer Squadron Nine have been work­ing hard to increase our tac­ti­cal pro­fi­cien­cy in long range mar­itime strike and anti-sub­ma­rine war­fare. On this Fourth of July at sea, it’s a priv­i­lege to stand the watch with our team­mates in Nimitz and Ronald Reagan Strike Groups to pro­tect free­dom of nav­i­ga­tion and the free flow of com­merce.”

This oppor­tu­ni­ty for two car­ri­er strike groups to train and oper­ate togeth­er in the region pro­vides com­bat­ant com­man­ders with sig­nif­i­cant oper­a­tional flex­i­bil­i­ty and capa­bil­i­ties that only the US Navy can com­mand.

The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group is the Navy’s only for­ward-deployed strike group and one of America’s most vis­i­ble sym­bols of resolve.

The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group arrived in the US 7th Fleet area of oper­a­tions on 17 June, and has been con­duct­ing dual car­ri­er oper­a­tions with both the Ronald Reagan and Theodore Roosevelt air­craft car­ri­ers.

With Carrier Air Wings 17 and 5, as well as accom­pa­ny­ing sur­face forces, Nimitz and Reagan form the most effec­tive and agile fight­ing force in the world, sup­port­ing US com­mit­ment to mutual defence agree­ments with region­al allies and part­ners, and pro­mot­ing peace and pros­per­i­ty through­out the Info-Pacific.

Source: Defence Industry News

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