As tensions rise, the US sends USS Ronald Reagan back to the South China Sea

ILLUSTRATION. Several aircraft from Carrier Air Wing 5 fly in formation aboard the Navy aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan in the South China Sea on October 9, 2019.

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KONTAN.CO.ID – The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group has returned to the South China Sea for the third time from deployment in 2020.

The carrier strike group includes the Navy’s only aircraft carriers USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, the USS Antietam (CG 54) Ticonderoga-class missile cruiser, and the Arleigh Burke, the USS-class guided missile destroyer. Halsey (DDG 97) and USS John S. McCain (DDG 56).

While in the South China Sea, attack groups conducted maritime security operations, which included fixed-wing and rotary flight operations, maritime strike drills, and coordinated tactical training between surface and air units.

Sailing nearly 56,000 nautical miles so far this deployment, the attack group is committed to upholding US security agreements with regional allies and partners, and demonstrating the ability of forward-deployed naval forces to rapidly respond to any eventuality across the region.

Also Read: Tensions in the South China Sea mount, China sends spy ships

“During our deployment, we continued our long tradition of demonstrating the United States’ commitment to lawful use of the sea and maintaining open access to international interests,” said Rear Adm. George Wikoff, commander, Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group, as quoted by Navy.Mil, Thursday (15/10).

“The focus of our operations has always been, and will continue to be, working with our Indo-Pacific allies and partners in promoting regional stability,” he added.

Throughout the 2020 deployment, Ronald Reagan and his escort units routinely integrated with allied and partner naval forces to build high-end war readiness through air defense, anti-submarine warfare, maritime attack and force protection exercises. The strike group recently operated in the Indian Ocean, made two transits through the Strait of Malacca, and completed various multinational exercises across the Indo-Pacific.

In this timelapse video, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) crosses the Strait of Malacca, 8 October.

Also Read: China is suspected of increasing military exercises on the islands around Taiwan


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