Two USN rear admirals who flew together as A-6 crew brought their carriers to China’s doorstep

The U.S. Navy picked the Philippine Sea as the location to conduct dual aircraft carrier strike group operations on Jun. 18.

160618-N-OI810-808 PHILLIPINE SEA (June 18, 2016) - The Nimitz-class Aircraft carriers USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) and USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) conduct dual aircraft carrier strike group operations in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific. The operations mark the U.S. Navy’s continued presence throughout the area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nathan Burke/Released)

160618-N-OI810-808 PHILLIPINE SEA (June 18, 2016) – The Nimitz-class Aircraft carriers USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) and USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) conduct dual aircraft carrier strike group operations in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific. The operations mark the U.S. Navy’s continued presence throughout the area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nathan Burke/Released)



The John C. Stennis and Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Groups conducted “air defense drills, sea surveillance, replenishments at sea, defensive air combat training, long range strikes, coordinated maneuvers and other exercises,” the press release from the U.S. Navy said.

It is interesting to note that the commanders of both strike groups, Rear Adm. Marcus A. Hitchcock and Rear Adm. John D. Alexander, both flew together as a A-6 Intruder crew back in 1988.

This is not the first time the U.S. Navy had conducted dual carrier flight operations in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.

The last time this type of exercise was carried out was back in Sept. 2014 when USS George Washington (CVN 73) and USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) strike groups conducted combined operations in the Western Pacific.

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