Carrier Strike Group ships assembled around Nimitz-class aircraft carriers USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) and USS Nimitz (CVN 68) met up in the South China Sea on February 9 for the first dual carrier operation of 2021.
The two groups met after USS Theodore Roosevelt departed San Diego for a scheduled deployment to the Indo-Pacific on December 23, 2020. USS Nimitz departed Bremerton, Wash., April 27, 2020.
The ships and aircraft of the two strike groups coordinated operations in a highly trafficked area to demonstrate the ability to operate in challenging environments, the navy said.
As a part of dual carrier operations, the strike groups conducted a multitude of exercises aimed at increasing interoperability between assets as well as command and control capabilities.
The navy stages dual carrier drills several times a year and they predominantly take place in the Western Pacific.
Carrier Strike Group Nine and Carrier Strike Group Eleven last conducted dual carrier operations June 21, 2020, in the Philippine Sea.
The last time the US conducted dual carrier operations in the South China Sea was in July 2020, when the Ronald Reagan and Nimitz carrier strike groups twice operated together in the South China Sea.
“Training with Carrier Strike Group Eleven in the South China Sea is a tremendously valuable opportunity,” said Rear Adm. Doug Verissimo, commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) Nine. “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.”
CSG 9 consists of USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), Destroyer Squadron 23, and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Russell (DDG 59) and USS John Finn (DDG 113).
CSG 11 consists of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17, guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59), the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, USS Sterett (DDG 104), and Destroyer Squadron 9 and CSG 11 staffs.