The Pentagon has six deployed carrier strike groups for the first time since 2012. Two carrier strike groups are engaged in domestic operations, and another is training for a deployment of its own.
The U.S. rarely deploys 7 of its 10 active carrier strike groups, making this one of the biggest projections of U.S. naval superiority in decades. The deployment of so many carrier strike groups across the globe are a key challenge to Russian and Chinese naval deployments in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
The four foreign deployed carrier strikes groups are the Ronald Reagan, the Dwight D Eisenhower, the Harry S Truman, and the John C Stennis.
The USS Ronald Reagan departed June 4 from Yokosuka, Japan, to “provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region,” according to a statement from the U.S. Navy. The Ronald Reagan will meet the USS John C Stennis as it continues to patrol the South China Sea where the U.S. and China have been in a long dispute over freedom of navigation in the disputed territorial waters.
A US Navy Official speaking to Navy Times on the deployments said, “we’re working to get used to operating in close proximity to a close competitor navy” and further noted that “The last time we did this was in the 1990s.”
The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower departed the Norfolk, Va., for a journey to the Mediterranean to reinforce and eventually relieve the USS Harry S Truman. The USS Harry S. Truman has been supporting airstrikes against the Islamic State while also supporting the requirements of the US Fifth and Sixth fleet in the Middle East.
The two domestically deployed carriers are the Carl Vinson and the George Washington, while the George H W Bush is preparing to deploy later this year. The Carl Vinson and the George Washington are cruising along the West and East coasts respectively as they train and undergo testing for potential future deployments.
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