Two U.S. Navy aircraft carriers and their strike groups met in the Philippine Sea June 18 to practice interoperability – and to make a couple of cool photos.
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) and USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) performed dual carrier flight operations on the occasion and demonstrated their skills in operating multiple carrier strike groups in close proximity.
The strike groups conducted air defense drills, sea surveillance, replenishments at sea, defensive air combat training, long range strikes, coordinated maneuvers and other exercises.
“This is a great opportunity for us to train in a high end scenario.” said Rear Adm. John D. Alexander commander of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 5. “We must take advantage of these opportunities to practice warfighting techniques that are required to prevail in modern naval operations.”
U.S. Navy aircraft carriers have conducted dual carrier strike group operations in the Western Pacific including the South China Sea, East China Sea and Philippine Sea for several years.
These operations typically occur when strike groups deployed to the 7th Fleet area of operations from the West Coast of the United States are joined with the forward deployed carrier strike group from Japan.
In Sept. 2014, USS George Washington (CVN 73) and USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) strike groups conducted combined operations in the Western Pacific and in Sept. 2012 they operated in the South China Sea and East China Sea.
In 2009, George Washington and USS Nimitz (CVN 68) operated together in the Western Pacific, and in 2001, USS Constellation (CV 64) and Carl Vinson operated together in the South China Sea.