By Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs Office | | July 16, 2020 SOUTH CHINA SEA (July 17, 2020) – The USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Groups continue integrated exercises and operations while deployed to the South China Sea.
“High-end integrated exercises bring unmatched flexibility, endurance, maneuverability, and firepower to an all-domain warfighting environment. Alongside like-minded regional partners, these efforts are in direct support of U.S. resolve to fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows,” said Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, Vice Adm. Bill Merz. “The capability and flexibility of our Navy is on full display as we support Indo-Pacific security and stability. There is no better example of our regional commitment, and periodically we will bring multiple teams together in 7th Fleet to practice large-scale coordinated operations.”
The Nimitz and Ronald Reagan are working together using tactical exercises designed to stress both offensive and defensive capabilities and to explore avenues of improvement. These carrier strike groups incorporate the capabilities of embarked fixed and rotary wing aircraft, Aegis guided-missile cruisers and destroyers, and attack submarines.
Operating forward, these strike groups are able to interact with region partners, practice in representative geographies, and build proficiency across a number of mission sets. 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 U.S. Navy can bring.
In 2018, Ronald Reagan, John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Groups operated together in Philippine Sea. In 2017, the aircraft carriers USS Nimitz (CVN 68), USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) conducted a tri-carrier strike force exercise in the Western Pacific, and Reagan and Stennis operated together in the Philippine Sea. In 2016, Ronald Reagan and the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) conducted combined operations in the Philippine Sea. In September 2014, the aircraft carriers USS George Washington (CVN 73) and USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) strike groups conducted combined operations in the Western Pacific, and in September 2012, George Washington and Stennis operated in the South China Sea and East China Sea. In 2009, George Washington and Nimitz operated together in the Western Pacific and in Valiant Shield 2007 and 2006 three-carrier strike groups were operating in the Philippine Sea. In 2001, the aircraft carriers USS Constellation (CV 64) and Carl Vinson operated together in the South China Sea.
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 U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations June 17, and has conducted 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 are among the most effective and agile fighting forces in the world, supporting U.S. commitment to mutual defense agreements with regional allies and partners.