Home Asia Pacific Two classes of US Navy flattops meet up in South China Sea

Two classes of US Navy flattops meet up in South China Sea

Ships from the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group and the America Expeditionary Strike Group transit the South China Sea. Photo: US Navy

Ships assembled around the US Navy aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt met with those assigned to amphibious assault ship USS America for three days of expeditionary strike force (ESF) operations in the South China Sea.

The operations took place between March 15 and 18, shortly after USS Theodore Roosevelt completed a port visit to Vietnam, becoming only the second carrier to visit the country since the 1970s.

The training, the second that the two strike groups have conducted since February, put the full spectrum of the Navy-Marine Corps team on display.

Exercises included basic flight maneuvers, air defense, surface-support mission exercises and various other integrated and unit-level scenarios. One of those was a visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS) exercise aboard Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser Bunker Hill by US Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit.

“Training with multiple platforms really enhances the overall combat capability of the force,” said Capt. Kurt Sellerberg, commanding officer of the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), part of the Theodore Roosevelt strike group. “Cruisers and destroyers, being multi-mission platforms, can complement and support strike operations with the Marine Air Wing (MAW) from the America ESG.”

TRSG consists of Carrier Strike Group 9, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11, Bunker Hill, Destroyer Squadron 23, and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers from Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 23.

USS America (LHD 6) is the flagship of the America Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG), which includes Commander Amphibious Squadron 11, San Antonio-class dock landing ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20), Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42), and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU).

The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group and America Amphibious Ready Group are forward-deployed to the US 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.