Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) of Carrier Strike Group 5 (CSG-5) joined with surface vessels and aircraft from U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s (INDOPACOM) joint forces and Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) to conduct a formation sailing and fly-over event as part of the first-ever multinational exercise Valiant Shield, June 7.
Ronald Reagan maneuvered alongside U.S. 7th Fleet flagship, USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), surface ships and submarines from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), and additional U.S. Navy surface ships. Meanwhile, aircraft from the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, U.S. Air Force and embarked Carrier Air Wing 5 (CVW 5) flew in formation overhead.
“Today, the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group demonstrated our ability to conduct complex, multi-axis and multi-domain operations with forces from not only across the Indo-Pacific, but across the globe,” said Rear Adm. Greg Newkirk, commander, Carrier Strike Group 5. “Over the coming days, our joint and combined forces will continue to hone our tactics and precise execution of those tactics to increase interoperability and lethality. This exercise expresses the full spectrum of capabilities we can bring to bear in our commitment to global peace and stability.”
In addition to the Ronald Reagan, Carrier Strike Group 5 consists of the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Robert Smalls and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Higgins (DDG 76) and USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115).
Blue Ridge is the oldest operational ship in the Navy and has been forward deployed since 1979. As the U.S. 7th Fleet’s flagship, it is responsible for patrolling and fostering relationships within the Indo-Asia Pacific Region.
Joining Carrier Strike Group 5 at the onset of Valiant Shield are the first-in-class JMSDF helicopter destroyer JS Izumo (DDH 183), the Maya-class guided-missile destroyer JS Haguro (DDG 180) and the Taigei-class submarine JS Jingei (SS 515).
Valiant Shield is a biennial, and, for the first time in its history, multinational, joint field training exercise (FTX) focused on integration between U.S. and allied forces. This FTX enables real-world proficiency in sustaining joint forces through detecting, locating, tracking and engaging adversaries at sea, in the air, in space, on land and in cyberspace in response to a range of missions.
“Valiant Shield is an opportunity for the crew of USS Ronald Reagan to demonstrate their warfighting capabilities at scale,” said Capt. Daryle Cardone, commanding officer of Ronald Reagan. “Operating as part of a combined joint force, a team of teams, we value opportunities like this to exercise our ability to our best where it matters most.”
Participants include allied forces and observers, as well as the U.S. Navy, Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Space Force.
This is the 10th Valiant Shield exercise in the series, which began in 2006.