Two carrier strike groups (Nimitz&Ronald Reagan) of the U.S. Navy deployed to the Pacific on 8th June in support of global maritime security operations, the U.S. Navy announced. These deployments are the first since the U.S. Navy developed a new set of procedures to protect the ships underway from the COVID-19 virus.
USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) left its homeport in Yokosuka, Japan, on Monday local time to begin the carrier strike group’s spring patrol, U.S. 7th Fleet announced. The carrier is embarked with Carrier Air Wing 5 based at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni and unspecified escorts from Destroyer Squadron 15.
USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and assets of the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (CSG) (including Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17, Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59) and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 9, which includes Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Sterett (DDG 104), and USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114)), deployed from San Diego June 8 in support of global maritime security operations.
Nimitz CSG :
Prior to deploying, the strike groups completed a composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX), de-signed to fully integrate units of a carrier strike group, while testing a strike group’s ability as a whole to carry out sustained combat operations from the sea. Ships, squadrons and staffs were tested across every core warfare area within their mission sets through a variety of simulated and live events, including air warfare, strait transits, and responses to surface and subsurface contacts and electronic attacks.
Leading up to and throughout COMPTUEX, NIMITZ CSG units conducted aggressive mitigation measures to minimize potential exposure to COVID-19, including the wearing of face coverings, social distancing, minimizing meetings and gatherings, and thorough cleaning of spaces multiple times each day. They will continue those mitigation measures to ensure the safety of their Sailors and Marines.
A CSG is capable of deploying anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice to meet the needs of the country and its allies. In addition to conducting maritime security operations whenever and wherever called upon, NIM CSG units will participate in cooperative engagements, multi-lateral exercises and unit-level training, designed to improve capability and capacity among Navy units and partner nations in the regions they may operate in.
Ronald Reagan CSG :
Following sea trials, Reagan commenced deployment by on-loading more than 1,000 tons of ordnance – enough combat power to cause the ship to sit five-inches lower on the waterline – in addition to personnel and aircraft from aviation squadrons within CVW-5. With more than 5,000 crew embarked, and 60-plus aircraft, Reagan is capable of sustaining around-the-clock maritime operations.
While underway, the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group will work alongside allies and partners to strengthen regional capabilities, further develop warfighting concepts, and improve distributed maritime operations that provide layered defense options to protect shared interests. Together, the U.S. and its allies promote peace and prosperity by supporting international norms.