Washington DC [US], July 6 (ANI): As the two US aircraft carriers---USS Ronald Reagan and USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Force are conducting operations in the South China Sea, Captain Michael Rovenolt, commanding officer of Carrier Air Wing said that our forces provide combatant commanders with significant operational flexibility to respond to regional contingencies.
"Reagan's object is 'Peace Through Strength,' and that is exactly what her dedicated Sailors bring to this theater," said Capt. Pat Hannifin, Ronald Reagan's commanding officer.
"Committed to our allies and a free and open Indo-Pacific, Reagan brings 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."
The Nimitz and Ronald Reagan strike groups conducted several exercises and operations to strengthen warfighting readiness and proficiency in an all-domain environment. 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.
Captain Michael Rovenolt, commanding officer of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, said, "Working together with another Carrier Air Wing provides advanced opportunities for our squadrons to conduct high-end training, and increase our warfighting readiness...Our forces provide combatant commanders with significant operational flexibility to respond to regional contingencies."
The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group arrived to the US 7th Fleet area of operations on June 17, and has been conducting routine security and stability operations in the Indo-Pacific.
"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."
Earlier, the US navy had confirmed with ANI that the USS Ronald Reagan and USS Nimitz are conducting dual-carrier operations and exercises in the South China Sea to support a "free and open Indo-Pacific".
The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group 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 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.
The exercise is long-planned but comes as China conducts military drills of its own in the area, near the contested Paracel Islands, exercises that have been criticised by the US and other countries.
The US Navy's operation of two nuclear-powered aircraft carriers in the South China Sea region further represents a significant show of force and comes amid heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing over a number of areas, including Hong Kong. (ANI)