MANILA

US aircraft carrier returns to South China Sea

SOUTH CHINA SEA. An F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 87 launches from USS Theodore Roosevelt during flight operations in the South China Sea, April 6. (US Navy)

THE Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG) entered the South China Sea on Sunday, April 4, 2021, to conduct routine operations, .

This is the second time TRCSG has entered the South China Sea during its 2021 deployment to U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.

“It is great to be back in the South China Sea to reassure our allies and partners that we remain committed to freedom of the seas,” said Rear Adm. Doug Verissimo, commander, Carrier Strike Group 9.

“Over the course of the strike group’s deployment, we have demonstrated our commitment to the rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific region by operating with our friends from South Korea, Japan, Australia, India and Malaysia. We look forward to continuing to sail together with all those that embrace our collective vision of security and stability in one of the most important regions in the world,” he added,

While in the South China Sea, the strike group will conduct fixed and rotary-wing flight operations, maritime strike exercises, anti-submarine operations, coordinated tactical training, among others.

The TRCSG consists of USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), Destroyer Squadron 23, and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Russell (DDG 59).

TRCSG’s operability in the region directly supports the Chief of Naval Operation’s navigation plan to master all-domain fleet operations, and exercise with like-minded navies to enhance collective strength.

The 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy's largest forward-deployed fleet and employs 50 to 70 ships and submarines across the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans. It routinely operates and interacts with 35 maritime nations while conducting missions to preserve and protect a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

Theodore Roosevelt’s embarked air wing consists of the “Tomcatters” of Strike Fighter Squadrons (VFA) 31, “Golden Warriors” of VFA-87, “Blue Diamonds” of VFA-146, “Black Knights” of VFA-154, “Liberty Bells” of Airborne Command and Control Squadron (VAW) 115, “The Gray Wolves” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 142, “Wolf Pack” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 75, “Eightballers” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 8 and “Providers” of Fleet Logistic Support Squadron (VRC) 30 Detachment 3.

Theodore Roosevelt departed San Diego for a scheduled deployment to the Indo-Pacific on December 23, 2020. (PR)


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