US Navy's Theodore Roosevelt of 7th Fleet entered the South China Sea to conduct routine operations

The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group has entered the South China Sea to conduct its routine operations in support of a Free And Open Indo-Pacific, US Navy confirmed on Saturday. The strike group is accompanied by Carrier Air Wing 11, USS Bunker Hill, Destroyer Squadron among others.

By Rohit Sindhu, Updated : Jan 24, 2021 10:32 IST
US Navy's Theodore Roosevelt of 7th Fleet entered the South China Sea to conduct routine operations
US Navy Theodore Roosevelt I Photo- Business Insider

The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG) has entered the South China Sea on January 23 to conduct routine operations. The Strike Group is on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet to ensure freedom of the seas, build partnerships that foster maritime security, and conduct a wide range of operations, the official statement from the US Navy.

“After sailing through these waters throughout my 30-year career, it’s great to be in the South China Sea again, conducting routine operations, promoting freedom of the seas, and reassuring allies and partners,” said Rear Adm. Doug Verissimo, commander, Carrier Strike Group Nine.

“With two-thirds of the world’s trade traveling through this very important region (South China Sea), it is vital that we maintain our presence and continue to promote the rules-based order which has allowed us all to prosper. While we miss visiting our allies and partners in the region in person, we’re grateful for all the opportunities we have to operate with them at sea.”

While in the South China Sea, the strike group is conducting maritime security operations, which include flight operations with fixed and rotary-wing aircraft, maritime strike exercises, and coordinated tactical training between the surface and air units.

“We all benefit from free and open access to the seas and our operations represent our commitment to maintaining regional security and stability,” said Captain. Eric Anduze, USS Theodore Roosevelt's commanding officer. “I’m incredibly proud of the work and professionalism this crew shows every day operating on the high seas,” he adds.

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 destroyers USS Russell (DDG 59) and USS John Finn (DDG 113).

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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 our collective strength.

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. 7th Fleet 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.

Source: PACOM US Navy

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