SOUTH CHINA SEA -- The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group (VINCSG) is operating in the South China Sea for the first time during the group's 2021 deployment.
While in the South China Sea, the strike group is conducting maritime security operations, which include flight operations with fixed and rotary wing aircraft, maritime strike exercises, and coordinated tactical training between surface and air units. Carrier operations in the South China Sea are part of the U.S. Navy's routine presence in the Indo-Pacific.
"The freedom of all nations to navigate in international waters is important, and especially vital in the South China Sea, where nearly a third of global maritime trade transits each year," said Rear Adm. Dan Martin, commander, Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group. "As we've transited the Pacific from San Diego to the South China Sea, we have had the privilege and pleasure to work alongside our allies, partners, and joint service teammates in training, exercises, engagements and operations - all with a common goal to ensure peace and stability throughout the region. It is in all of our interest that the international community plays an active role in preserving the rules-based international order."
The carrier strike group is led by Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1 and includes aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70); embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2; embarked staffs of CSG 1 and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 1; Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57); Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90); and Independence variant littoral combat ship USS Tulsa (LCS 16).
In the month prior to entering the South China Sea, the VINCSG participated in Large Scale Exercise 2021, conducted interoperability flights with U.K. Carrier Strike Group (CSG-21), and conducted a bilateral exercise with Joint Maritime Self-Defense Forces units.
The strike group is committed to upholding a rules-based international order with regional allies and partners, demonstrating the capability of forward-deployed naval forces to quickly respond across the region.
The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group is 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 other maritime nations to build partnerships that foster maritime security, promote stability, and prevent conflict.