US amphibious assault ship joins aircraft carrier in South China Sea

United States Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) with lead ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) joined Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG) with lead ship USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) in South China Sea on April 9 to conduct Expeditionary Strike Force operations.

“Combining the capabilities of the carrier strike group with those of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group sharpens our tactical skills and demonstrates our continued dedication to the security and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific,” said Rear Adm. Doug Verissimo, commander, Carrier Strike Group Nine. “The combined Navy and Marine Corps team has been a stabilizing force in this region for more than a century and will continue to support all who share in the collective vision of peace, stability, and freedom of the seas.”

TRCSG consists of USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), Destroyer Squadron 23, and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Russell (DDG 59).

The Makin Island ARG is comprised of three ships; amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8), amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25), amphibious transport dock ship USS San Diego (LPD 22); and detachments from the “Wildcards” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 23, “Scorpions” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 49, Tactical Air Control Squadron (VTC) 11, and Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 5.

“Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, and the carrier strike group are a strong example of the value a deployed naval expeditionary force brings to combatant commanders and joint partners in the region,” said Capt. Stewart Bateshansky, commodore, Amphibious Squadron 3. “This expeditionary strike force fully demonstrates that we maintain a combat-credible force, capable of responding to any contingency, deter aggression, and provide regional security and stability in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific.”