US Navy Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group Enters South China Sea
US Navy Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group Enters South China Sea

US Navy Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group Enters South China Sea

The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG) entered the South China Sea January 23 to conduct routine operations. 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 surface and air units. 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). 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.

An F/A-18E Super Hornet, assigned to the “Blue Diamonds” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 146, lands on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71).
An F/A-18E Super Hornet, assigned to the “Blue Diamonds” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 146, lands on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71).(Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Dartanon Delagarza/U.S. 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, 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.”

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The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) approaches the fleet replenishment oiler USNS John Ericsson (T-AO 194) during a replenishment-at-sea
The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) approaches the fleet replenishment oiler USNS John Ericsson (T-AO 194) during a replenishment-at-sea. (Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Dartanon Delagarza/U.S. Navy)

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.

The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), front, and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John Finn (DDG 113) transit the Pacific Ocean.
The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), front, and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John Finn (DDG 113) transit the Pacific Ocean. (Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Dartanon Delagarza/U.S. Navy)

USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) is the fourth Nimitz-class, nuclear-powered, aircraft carrier in the United States Navy. She is named in honor of Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States and a proponent of naval power. She is the fourth ship named in honor of Theodore Roosevelt, three bearing his full name and a fourth with just his last name. Another three U.S. Navy ships have “Roosevelt” in their names in honor of members of the Roosevelt family. This carrier’s radio call sign is “Rough Rider”, the nickname of President Roosevelt’s volunteer cavalry unit during the Spanish–American War. Theodore Roosevelt was the first aircraft carrier to be assembled using modular construction, wherein large modules are independently constructed in “lay-down” areas, prior to being hoisted into place and welded together. She was launched in 1984, and saw her first action during Operation Desert Storm in 1991.

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