US carrier strike groups conduct exercises in South China Sea
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US carrier strike groups conduct exercises in South China Sea

10 Feb 2021

The US Navy has announced that two carrier strike groups have conducted joint exercises in the South China Sea amid rising tensions with China.

US carrier strike groups conduct exercises in South China Sea
Aircraft assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 fly over the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group and the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group in the South China Sea. Credit: Seaman Deirdre Marsac/ US Navy.

The US Navy has announced that two carrier strike groups have conducted joint exercises in the South China Sea amid rising tensions with China.

As a part of dual-carrier operations, the ships and aircraft of the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group and the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group undertook a multitude of exercises to increase interoperability.

The move marks the first dual-carrier operations in the South China Sea since July last year.

USS Theodore Roosevelt currently serves as the flagship vessel of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 9, while USS Nimitz is the CSG 11 flagship.

CSG 9 commander rear admiral Doug Verissimo said: “Training with Carrier Strike Group Eleven in the South China Sea is a tremendously valuable opportunity.

“Through operations like this, we ensure that we are tactically proficient to meet the challenge of maintaining peace and we are able to continue to show our partners and allies in the region that we are committed to promoting a Free and Open Indo-Pacific.”

Such dual carrier operations are aimed to maintain the readiness of the US forces and to demonstrate the US Navy’s ability to operate in challenging environments.

CSG 11 commander rear admiral Jim Kirk said: “Working cooperatively alongside Carrier Strike Group Nine improves our collective tactical skill while ensuring regional stability and security.

“We are committed to ensuring the lawful use of the sea that all nations enjoy under international law.”

The contested waters of the South China Sea have become a flashpoint in the US-China relationship with both the sides occasionally conducting military exercises in the region.

Reuters reported that the Chinese side denounced the latest US activity and said that such US warship movements are not conducive to regional peace and stability.