Two US Navy carrier strike groups came together in early February for dual carrier operations in the South China Sea.
Carrier Strike Group Nine (CSG 9) centred around the USS Theodore Roosevelt and CSG 11 with the USS Nimitz conducted joint manoeuvres in the contested waterway aimed at increasing interoperability between the vessels and their air groups.
The Nimitz has been deployed with the US Navy’s 7th Fleet in Indian Ocean since May, and is making its way back to the US, while the Roosevelt CSG sailed from San Diego in December and will replace the Nimitz CSG in the region.
“Training with CSG 11 in the South China Sea is a tremendously valuable opportunity,” Rear Adm Doug Verissimo, commander of CSG 9 said in a release. “Through operations like this, we ensure that we are tactically proficient to meet the challenge of maintaining peace and we are able to continue to show our partners and allies in the region that we are committed to promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
As well as the carriers, both CSGs comprised a Ticonderoga class cruiser and at least two Arleigh-Burke class destroyers, as well as support vessels and, likely, at least one Los Angeles or Virginia class submarine.
The manoeuvres come just a week after a series of provocative flights by multiple PLA aircraft that appeared to simulate strikes on CSG 11 and which reportedly violated Taiwanese airspace.