U.S. Navy Nimitz Class Nuclear-powered Aircraft Carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76)
U.S. Navy Nimitz Class Nuclear-powered Aircraft Carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76)

US Navy Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group and Indian Air Force to Conduct Joint Exercise off Thiruvananthapuram

As a strategic outreach exercise with the defence forces of friendly foreign countries in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), Indian Air Force will participate in operational engagements with the US Navy in an exercise to be carried out with Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group (CSG) on 23 and 24 Jun 21. The CSG is currently deployed in the IOR. The exercise with the US CSG will focus on multiple areas including enhancing aspects of interoperability, nuances of international integrated maritime SAR operations and exchange of best practices in the maritime airpower domain.

The Exercise in the AoR of Southern Air Command will see the IAF forces operate from bases under four operational commands and will include Jaguars & Su-30 MKI fighters, AWACS, AEW&C and Air to Air Refueller aircraft. The US CSG is expected to field F-18 fighters and E-2C Hawkeye AEW&C aircraft. The exercise will be carried out south of Thiruvananthapuram, on the western seaboard, over two days.

The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group steams in the Indian Ocean. The U.S. Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 5, along with USS Shiloh (CG 67) and USS Halsey (DDG 97) provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the United States, as well as the collective maritime interests of its allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jason Tarleton)

IAF has extensive experience in maritime operations in the IOR. This has been consolidated over the years by conduct of exercises from the country’s island territories, including participation in International exercises. The multi spectral capability of the IAF in IOR also includes HADR missions and logistics support undertaken in support of friendly nations in the region. This engagement with the US CSG offers one more opportunity to undertake joint operations in the maritime domain with a friendly foreign power.

The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group is forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region. U.S. 7th Fleet conducts forward-deployed naval operations in support of U.S. national interests in the Indo-Pacific area of operations. As the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed fleet, 7th Fleet interacts with 35 other maritime nations to build partnerships that foster maritime security, promote stability, and prevent conflict. The strike group is committed to upholding U.S. security agreements with regional allies and partners, as well as demonstrating the capability of forward-deployed naval forces to quickly respond to any contingency across the region.