The US Navy’s Nimitz and Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Groups are conducting dual carrier operations in the Philippine Sea – the ships and aircraft assigned to both strike groups began co-ordinated operations in international waters.
While deployed, the Carrier Strike Force is conducting integrated exercises and operations that maintain responsive, flexible, and enduring commitments to mutual defence agreements with allies and partners 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 US join 7th Fleet’s forward-deployed carrier strike group in Japan.
Rear Admiral George Wikoff, commander, Carrier Strike Group 5, explained, "We aggressively seek out every opportunity to advance and strengthen our capabilities and proficiency at conducting all-domain warfighting operations."
The US Navy regularly conducts integrated strike group operations to support a free and open Indo-Pacific, and promote an international rules-based order wherein each country can reach its potential without sacrificing national sovereignty.
"The US 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," RADM Wikoff added.
Rear Admiral James Kirk, commander, Carrier Strike Group 11, expanded on the statements made by RADM Wikoff, saying, "Only the US Navy can integrate a carrier strike force on this scale and consistently project power to protect freedom of the seas.
"With more than 10,000 US Navy Sailors from across the world working together as one cohesive team, these operations are what keep us ready to respond to any contingency."
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).
In November 2018, the Ronald Reagan and John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Groups conducted combined operations in the Philippine Sea. In September 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 2 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 Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group consists of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), 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.