PHILIPPINE SEA -- The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group and the USS New Orleans, assigned to Task Force 76/3, joined forces to conduct combined integrated operations with maritime forces from Canada and Japan to experiment with naval concepts in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific, concluding operations across the Philippine Sea, beginning Oct. 24.
The U.S. Navy-Marine Corps team conducted a multitude of integrated, high-end warfighting exercises while forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.
"Conducting operations with both traditional carrier strike group units and expeditionary strike group units gives us the chance to put a high-performing team together to execute and enhance command and control of integrated forces in a complex maritime environment," said Rear Adm. Derek Trinque, commander, Task Force 76/3. "With the talents of our ships and our allied ships, combined with the air power skills of the carrier strike group we become a more lethal and flexible force than either of us could be alone."
While operating a number of ships and aircraft together as a combined naval force, battle readiness and interoperability were increased through a series of training scenarios. These operations allow our Navy and Marine Corps forces to increase their ability to respond to threats, deter hostilities and maintain stability in the Indo-Pacific.
“Being able to execute these operations together helps us stay postured for future maritime challenges, serving as a foundation for the combat credibility of our forward-deployed naval forces,” said Rear Adm. Michael Donnelly, commander, Carrier Strike Group 5. “The Ronald Reagan Strike Group has relished this opportunity to hone our skills alongside the New Orleans team and integrate expeditionary warfare with carrier air power. Integrated naval operations in the Western Pacific demonstrates U.S. commitment to our regional allies and partners, support for international stability and security, and the ability to rapidly respond to any challenge.”
Allied ships joining the integrated operations included Royal Canadian Navy frigates HMCS Vancouver (FFH 331) and HMCS Winnipeg (FFH 338) and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer JS Kirisame (DD 104).
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 Higgins (DDG 76)).
The Tripoli Amphibious Ready Group (TRIARG) is comprised of amphibious assault carrier USS Tripoli (LHA 7), dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47), amphibious transport dock USS New Orleans (LPD 18) and 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). Operating with the TRIARG as part of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7 was the Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Oakland (LCS 24).
The 31st MEU is the only permanently forward-deployed MEU in the world and provides a flexible and lethal crisis response force, ready to perform a wide range of military operations. The selective and timely commitment of the U.S. Marines has, on many occasions, served to comfort those in need or restore peace and stability where necessary.
The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group and the TRIARG are forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific. 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.