The U.S. Navy is preparing for expansive two-carrier attacks in the Pacific by connecting the USS Theodore Roosevelt and USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Groups for combined operations near the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea.
The exercise, which is, of course, not planning any attacks or specific war moves, is intended to ensure that U.S. carrier power-projection is ready, capable and highly functional should it need to launch coordinated combat operations in the area.
Navy commanders are referring to this a specific effort to sustain “readiness” in a highly “pressurized region,” of course acknowledging the current U.S.-Chinese tension.
“This is a great opportunity for us to train together in a complex scenario,” Rear Adm. Doug Verissimo, commander of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 9, said in a Navy report. “By working together in this environment, we’re improving our tactical skills and readiness in the face of an increasingly pressurized region and COVID-19.”
The strike groups will support air defense drills, sea surveillance, replenishments at sea, defensive air combat training, long-range strikes, coordinated maneuvers and other exercises, the Navy statement explained.
While not the first time the Navy has conducted dual-strike group operations in the Pacific, the maneuvers are not without technical and strategic challenges. Multi-carrier attack succeeds by virtue of elaborate networking, command and control and air-confliction efforts, while also delivering a massive advantage to maritime attack options by, essentially, doubling firepower, surveillance potential and weapons capability.