USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group returns to the South China Sea

Passage of the USS Ronald Raegan from the Philippines Sea to the South China Sea in 2020 (US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jason Tarleton)

Posted on Sep 24, 2021 6:34 PM by

The maritime executive

USS Ronald reagan and its carrier strike group returned to the South China Sea on September 24 for the second time when deployed in 2021. The return of the Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier in the politically charged region comes as states United have sought to maintain a highly visible presence in the South China Sea.

China has recently stepped up its activities in the region, which, along with the announcement of new maritime regulations that China has said it plans to impose in areas it considers national waters, has attracted l beware of the South China Sea. Earlier this week, at the United Nations General Assembly, fears were expressed about a resumption of the Cold War between the United States and China, as President Biden and the Chinese leadership sought to downplay the problems.

The carrier strike group that returned to the South China Sea today includes the USS Ronald reagan as well as the embarked Carrier Air Wing 5, and the embarked staffs of Task Force 70 and Destroyer Squadron 15. The group also includes the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh.

While in the South China Sea, the U.S. Navy announced that the strike group will conduct fixed-wing and rotary-wing flight operations, maritime strike exercises, anti-submarine operations, and coordinated tactical training. “The strike group will work with its network of partners and alliances to ensure maritime security and the free flow of commerce in the Indo-Pacific.”

Ronald reagan and all components of its strike group operated with relentless energy and commitment throughout the deployment, demonstrating America’s strength and resilience, ”said Captain Fred Goldhammer, Ronald reaganthe commander of. “As we continue our mission in the South China Sea, we remain vigilant and ready to answer the call.”

USS Ronald Reagan and his air wing returned to the South China Sea on September 24 (US Navy / MC3 Askia Collins)

The strike group returned to the South China Sea after being assigned to conduct naval operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet. Carrier Air Wing 5 provided air support to US and coalition forces during the withdrawal operations from Afghanistan.

“We look forward to building on our recent out-of-area experience as we return to the South China Sea and our rapidly growing alliances and partnerships dedicated to the Indo-Pacific,” said Rear Admiral Will Pennington, Commander of Task Force 70, Carrier Strike Group 5. “The deployment of Ronald reagan The Middle East Carrier Strike Group and the swift and transparent return to the Pacific underscore the flexibility and responsiveness of a leading maritime force, as well as the power and reach of global coalitions dedicated to stability ensured by the international law and the rules-based order. ”

Noting the deployment in the South China Sea, the US Navy said the operations were “in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region.” The U.S. 7th Fleet is conducting forward deployed naval operations in support of U.S. national interests in the Indo-Pacific area of ​​operations.

In early September, the 7th Fleet conducted a series of exercises in the South China Sea. USS To fold transited through the South China Sea and sailed within 12 miles of Mischief Reef, part of the Spratly Islands, which China claims to be in its territorial waters and subject to new maritime rules. China responded by condemning the US actions as aggressive, while the US Navy said the destroyer was conducting ongoing routine operations in international waters. Days earlier, China also protested when the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Kidd accompanied by the American Coast Guard National Security Cutter Munro conducted transited through the Taiwan Strait.

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