US sending two aircraft carriers to South China Sea

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The United States Navy is sending two aircraft carriers in South China Sea. “Operating two carrier strike groups in the Philippine Sea and South China Sea provides advanced training opportunities for our forces and provides combatant commanders with significant operational flexibility should those forces be called upon in response to regional situations,” US Navy Seventh Fleet spokesperson Lt. Joe Jeiley said as quoted by CNN.

“The presence of two carriers is not in response to any political or world events. This advanced capability is one of many ways the US Navy promotes security, stability, and prosperity throughout the Indo-Pacific,” the spokesperson added.

On June 28, Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (CSG 11) and Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group (CSG 5) started conducting dual carrier operations in Philippine Sea as Nimitz Carrier Strike Force.

“Only the U.S. Navy can integrate a carrier strike force on this scale and consistently project power to protect freedom of the seas,” said Rear Admiral James Kirk, commander, CSG 11. “With more than 10,000 U.S. Navy Sailors from across the world working together as one cohesive team, these operations are what keep us ready to respond to any contingency.”

“We aggressively seek out every opportunity to advance and strengthen our capabilities and proficiency at conducting all-domain warfighting operations,” said Rear Admiral George Wikoff, commander, CSG 5. “The U.S. Navy remains mission ready and globally deployed. Dual carrier operations demonstrate our commitment to regional allies, our ability to rapidly mass combat power in the Indo- Pacific, and our readiness to confront all those who challenge international norms that support regional stability.”

The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group consists of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), Carrier Air Wing (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 consists of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, the guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54), and guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89), and is forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan and routinely conducts security and stability operations in the Indo-Pacific.

“US Navy aircraft carriers have conducted dual carrier strike group operations in the Western Pacific, including the South China Sea and Philippine Sea for years. These operations typically occur when strike groups deployed to 7th Fleet from the West Coast of the United States join 7th Fleet’s forward-deployed carrier strike group in Japan,” US Navy Task Force 70 said.