The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group is operating in the South China Sea for the second time during its 2021 deployment, Sept. 24.
The carrier strike group includes the Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) the embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, and embarked staffs of Task Force 70 and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, as well as the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67).
The strike group enters the South China Sea after concluding successful naval operations in U.S. 5th Fleet, upholding maritime security and stability while Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5 provided airpower to protect U.S. and coalition forces as they conducted drawdown operations from Afghanistan.
“We look forward to leveraging 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 Adm. Will Pennington, commander, Task Force 70, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 5.
“The deployment of Ronald Reagan carrier strike group to the middle east and rapid seamless return to the Pacific highlight the flexibility and responsiveness of a premier maritime force and the power and reach of global coalitions dedicated to the stability provided by international law and rules-based order.”
While in the South China Sea, the strike group will conduct fixed and rotary-wing flight operations, maritime strike exercises, anti-submarine operations, and coordinated tactical training.
“Ronald Reagan and all components of its strike group have operated with relentless energy and commitment throughout the deployment, showcasing the strength and resilience of America,” said Capt. Fred Goldhammer, Ronald Reagan’s commanding officer. “As we continue our mission in the South China Sea, we remain vigilant and ready to answer the call.”
The strike group will work with its network of partners and alliances to ensure maritime security and a free flow of commerce in the Indo-Pacific.
The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group is forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region. U.S. 7th Fleet conducts forward-deployed naval operations in support of U.S. national interests in the Indo-Pacific area of operations.
As the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed fleet, 7th Fleet interacts with 35 other maritime nations to build partnerships that foster maritime security, promote stability, and prevent conflict.
Image credit: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Askia Collins. The U.S. Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) steams through international waters. Ronald Reagan, the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 5, provides a combat-ready force that protects and defends the United States, and supports alliances, partnerships and collective maritime interests in the Indo-Pacific region.