The U.S. Navy Nimitz-class aircraft carriers, USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) are conducting dual carrier operations in the Philippine Sea, the service announced.
The two carriers, along with ships and aircraft assigned to the Nimitz and Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Groups, began coordinated operations in international waters, on June 28.
According to the Navy, the carrier strike force is “conducting integrated exercises and operations that maintain responsive, flexible, and enduring commitments to mutual defense agreements with allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific” while deployed.
“We aggressively seek out every opportunity to advance and strengthen our capabilities and proficiency at conducting all-domain warfighting operations,” said Rear Adm. George Wikoff, commander Carrier Strike Group 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.”
“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 Adm. James Kirk, commander, Carrier Strike Group 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.”
U.S. 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.
In November 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.
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 aircraft carrier and Nimitz CSG elements departed Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego on June 8 for the deployment.
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.
The Ronald Reagan CSG commenced her 2020 Indo-Pacific deployment following her sea trials which were conducted following the completion of a successful maintenance availability at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PSNS & IMF) Detachment Yokosuka in Japan.