US carrier strike force in South China Sea show power

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United States Navy’s Nimitz and Ronald Reagan carrier strike groups, operating as a carrier strike force, are conducting dual carrier operations in South China Sea, July 6.

SOUTH CHINA SEA (July 6, 2020) Aircraft from Carrier Air Wing 5 and Carrier Air Wing 17 fly in formation over the Nimitz Carrier Strike Force (CSF). US Navy photo

“The Nimitz and Ronald Reagan strike groups conducted several exercises and operations to strengthen warfighting readiness and proficiency in an all-domain environment,” Commander, US Navy Task Force 70/Carrier Strike Group 5 said.

“Integrated operations included air defense exercises, tactical maneuvering drills, simulated long-range maritime strike scenarios, and coordinated air and surface exercises to maintain combat readiness and maritime superiority,” it added.

“Dual carrier operations provide increased reach, power projection, and continuity of operations, particularly in the air domain. Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, embarked aboard Ronald Reagan, and CVW-17, embarked aboard Nimitz, launched and recovered hundreds of aircraft daily, continually operating around-the-clock. Together, the strike force was able to extend the reach of air superiority, and provide greater security throughout the region,” Commander, US Navy Task Force 70/Carrier Strike Group 5 said.

Ronald Reagan’s commanding officer Captain Pat Hannifin said “committed to our allies and a free and open Indo-Pacific, Reagan brings a flexibility and combat lethality unmatched anywhere in the world. These operations with Nimitz demonstrate that we are but one component of a much larger and equally committed naval force.”

“Working together with another Carrier Air Wing provides advanced opportunities for our squadrons to conduct high-end training, and increase our warfighting readiness,” said Capt. Michael Rovenolt, commanding officer of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5. “Our forces provide combatant commanders with significant operational flexibility to respond to regional contingencies.”

“Working together with the Ronald Reagan carrier strike group provides advanced, high-end training opportunities that increase our warfighting readiness,” said Capt. Todd Cimicata, Commander, Carrier Air Wing 17. “Dual carrier operations demonstrate unique U.S. capabilities, increase carrier strike force command and control experience, and show our commitment to regional allies. Additionally, our operations reinforce the rights, freedoms, and lawful use of the sea and airspace guaranteed by international law.”

The US Navy said it regularly conducts integrated strike group operations that demonstrate commitment of presence and stability in the region, as well as training opportunities that increase fleet wide tactical proficiency.

“In Nov. 2018 the Ronald Reagan and John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Groups conducted combined operations in the Philippine Sea. In Sept. 2014, The George Washington and Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Groups operated in the South China Sea and East China Sea. In 2009, The George Washington and Nimitz Carrier Strike Groups operated together in the Western Pacific, and in 2001, the Constellation and Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Groups operated together in the South China Sea,” Commander, US Navy Task Force 70/Carrier Strike Group 5 said.

The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (CSG 11) consists of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), CVW-17, the guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59), the guided-missile destroyers USS Sterett (DDG 104), and USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114).

The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group (CSG 5) consists of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), CVW-5, the guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54), the guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89), and is forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific.