Waters Between Japan and the Republic of Korea -- The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group concluded several days of bilateral and trilateral operations with the maritime forces of Japan and Republic of Korea (ROK) in the waters between both countries Oct. 8.
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 Chancellorsville (CG 62) and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65).
"Facing challenges together with our allies is an important part of our role as a forward-deployed unit," said Capt. Edward Angelinas, Chancellorsville’s commanding officer. "The Chancellorsville crew is proud to contribute to our mutual defense agreements and increase our interoperability and partnership with the maritime forces of Republic of Korea and Japan."
While operating with its maritime allies from Japan and the Republic of Korea, which also included JS Asahi (DD 119) and ROKS Munmu The Great (DDH 976), the strike group conducted 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, aimed at demonstrating the shared commitment to upholding the rules-based international order.
Carrier operations in these waters are part of the U.S. Navy’s routine operations in the Indo-Pacific and its commitment to peace and stability in the region.
“Our commitment to regional security and the defense of our allies and partners is demonstrated by our flexibility and adaptability to move this strike group to where it is needed,” said Rear Adm. Michael Donnelly, commander, Task Force 70/Carrier Strike Group 5. “We have an inherent capability to respond to any challenge, and we will continue to train and operate alongside our allies and partners and uphold the rules-based international order wherever we fly, sail, and operate.”
Chancellorsville along with Benfold joined Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) guided-missile destroyers JS Chokai (DDG 176) and JS Ashigara (DDG 178) and Republic of Korea Navy guided-missile destroyer ROKS Sejong The Great (DDG 991) for a tri-lateral Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) exercise Oct. 6.
The strike group also recently completed the Maritime Counter-Special Operations Exercise (MCSOFEX) with Republic of Korea, a tri-lateral anti-submarine warfare exercise with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and ROK Navy, and a bi-lateral fires exercise with the Japan Self-Defense Force.
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 is the largest forward-deployed 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.