On Oct. 6, in the South China Sea, the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps team came together to combine air and expeditionary combat power, providing regional stability and security in the Indo-Pacific.
The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group and the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group joined forces to conduct security and stability operations in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific, according to a Navy news release.
Ships and aircraft from the U.S. Navy, as well as aircraft from the U.S. Marine Corps, conducted a multitude of joint, high-end warfighting exercises while forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.
“Our operations in the Indo-Pacific are focused on maintaining regional stability and security,” said Rear Adm. George Wikoff, commander, Task Force 70. “Our presence reflects our commitment to the values we share with the many partners and allies in the region, and we stand prepared to deter those who challenge these mutual values with the overwhelming force of our combined carrier and amphibious strike groups.”
While operating together, the Navy-Marine Corps team sharpened their interoperability through a series of exercises designed to increase battle readiness. Assets participated in a variety of evolutions to include maritime strike operations, search and rescue operations, fast attack craft defense, maritime interdiction operations, small arms and crew-served weapons live-fire drills, air defense and anti-submarine warfare operations.
“The flexibility of our forces in the Indo-Pacific is a key to our lethality,” said Rear Adm. Fred Kacher, commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 7. “Our ability to join together the incredible capability of a carrier strike group, combine it with the expeditionary combat power of our Navy-Marine Corps team, and then integrate with our extensive network of allies and partners provides us a true competitive advantage.”
USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), “America’s Flagship,” is the centerpiece of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 5, which includes Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers, and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers from Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15.
USS Boxer (LHD 4), “America’s Golden Gator,” is the flagship of the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), which includes a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship, a Harpers Ferry-class amphibious dock landing ship, and the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). The Boxer ARG and 11th MEU entered the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations Sept. 23 during a scheduled deployment.
The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group is forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. U.S. 7th Fleet is the largest numbered fleet in the world, and with the help of 35 other maritime-nation allies and partners, the U.S. Navy has operated in the Indo-Pacific region for more than 70 years, providing credible, ready forces to help preserve peace and prevent conflict.