Sunday, October 20, 2019

US Navy & Marines conduct large scale exercise in S. China Sea with two Aircraft Carriers and two Large Deck Amphibs...

via BreitBart
The U.S. Navy recently sent an aircraft carrier strike group and an amphibious ready group consisting of two large deck warships, dozens of aircraft, and thousands of sailors and Marines into the South China Sea, apparently for the first time ever.

Last week, the U.S. Navy sent the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group – consisting of the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier and her accompanying ships, aircraft, and sailors – and the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group consisting of the USS Boxer amphibious assault ship and a Marine Expeditionary Unit of more than 2,000 Marines into the strategically important body of water.

The Navy said it had no records showing a carrier and amphibious operation of this kind in the South China Sea before, and the last time two aircraft carriers conducted operations there together was on August 17, 2001.

“While we do not have anything in our records that speaks to a carrier and amphib operation in the South China Sea, our Marine and Navy forces routinely operate together in the Indo-Pacific region,” Lt. Anthony Junco, a spokesman for the Navy’s 7th Fleet, told Breitbart News.

“The most recent dual-carrier operations in South China Sea we could find record of was conducted on 17 August, 2001 and included the aircraft carriers USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and the now decommissioned USS Constellation (CV 64),” he said.

The U.S. naval and Marine forces conducted “joint, high-end warfighting exercises,” including with live fire, to “increase battle readiness,” according to an official Navy report on the recent operations.
Story here. 

A few things.

*  Good to see the US Navy and Marines focusing on dealing with the coming war with the Chinese.  It's no longer if but when.  We need to get ready.  Seriously ready.

*  Not sure this is the answer.  I've said before that we don't need to enter this region so the idea of enemy Anti-Access/Area Denial was simply a lie to push stealth aircraft.  Sailing four of our capital ships within range of enemy defenses is curious in my opinion.  Educate me where I'm wrong with my thinking, but I would imagine that even carriers would act as lily pads for aircraft that operate from bases ashore from which they'll actually carry out missions against Chinese aggression.

*  From what I've seen I like the direction our Naval Services are headed.  What concerns is that we're standing pat and have no answer to their Coast Guard which is acting as almost a marauding force, bullying smaller nations AND we have no real answer to the artificial islands they're building.  We gotta wrap our heads around both issues and get them solved poste haste.

All in all I'm pleased.  Crawl, walk, run...not sure where we're at in dealing with the China problem but at least we're doing something.

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