PACIFIC OCEAN -- The U.S. Navy and Air Force are conducting joint integrated training off the coast of Northern Japan. Units and personnel assigned to the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group, Navy Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 131, and the Air Force 35th Fighter Wing began coordinated operations August 1.
Integrated training includes air-to-air operations, combat search and rescue drills, and air defense exercises to increase joint force capability to respond to regional contingencies and maintain warfighting readiness in the Indo-Pacific.
“Our ability to integrate our Air Force brothers and sisters in the air anywhere in the Indo-Pacific theater is unmatched,” said Capt. Michael Rovenolt, commander, Carrier Air Wing 5. “Our integration provides enhanced capabilities and readiness in support of our enduring commitments to our allies and partners.”
The U.S. Navy regularly conducts exercises with other U.S. military branches in the Indo-Pacific to build and maintain warfighting readiness that is responsive, flexible, and honors enduring commitments to mutual defense agreements with regional allies and partners.
“Improving interoperability with our Navy counterparts and increasing our collective capabilities better prepares the joint team to meet our commitments in the Indo-Pacific region,” said Col. Jesse Friedel, 35th Fighter Wing commander. “We are dedicated to building a networked security architecture capable of deterring aggression, maintaining stability and ensuring free access to waterways.”
“Integrating our mission sets, especially between VAQ-131 and the 13th and 14th Fighter Squadrons here, has been especially rewarding to witness, as both squadrons focus on the suppression of enemy air defenses. Flying together provides the most accurate training sight picture for our aircrews, ensuring we can meet the needs of this region if and when called upon.”
The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group is underway with the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile destroyer USS Antietam (CG 54) and squadrons assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5 embarked aboard Ronald Reagan.
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.