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GULF OF ALASKA - The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG) began Exercise Northern Edge 2021 (NE21) in the Gulf of Alaska, May 3.
The exercise includes assets from TRCSG, Makin Island Amphibious Readiness Group (MKIARG) and embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, and other U.S. military units in the continental United States and from U.S. installations in the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command area of responsibility.
"Carrier Strike Group Nine's collaboration with joint forces demonstrates to our partners that we are sharpening our capabilities to be ready for any mission that should present itself in this increasingly important Arctic region," said Rear Adm. Doug Verissimo, commander, Carrier Strike Group Nine. "Our commitment to protecting and preserving the arctic environment is unwavering. Participation in Northern Edge 21 aligns with the Navy's Blue Arctic strategy which aims to build a more capable arctic force through integration of American naval power with our joint forces, to maintain maritime security and freedom of the seas in the region."
NE21, hosted by U.S. Pacific Air Forces, is designed to provided high-end, realistic war fighter training, develop and improve joint interoperability, and enhance the combat readiness of participating forces. This is done by providing a venue for large force employment training and multi-domain operations; tactical training for the full spectrum of conflict; execute and advance adaptive basing joint tactics, techniques, and procedures; advance live-virtual-constructive capabilities; and support U.S. Indo-Pacific Command's experimental initiatives.
"This crew has shown phenomenal resilience and warfighting excellence this deployment," said Capt. Eric Anduze, USS Theodore Roosevelt's commanding officer. "Northern Edge provides us with yet another opportunity to hone our skills and to practice tactics, techniques, and procedures that will better prepare us to work jointly. Our team looks forward to this challenge, and to improving our command-and-control capabilities with our sister services."
U.S. Sailors, Airmen, and Marines will conduct training over the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complexes, Gulf of Alaska, which encompasses more than 60,000 miles of airspace throughout Alaska. Capt. Michael Langbehn, commander, Carrier Air Wing 11, expressed his appreciation for the Alaska community support.
"The air wing is grateful to the citizens of the state of Alaska for their support as we conduct critical joint training operations," said Langbehn. "Alaska's strategic location is vital to maintaining peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region, and we are grateful for the opportunity to conduct this realistic training."
The exercises will include scenarios for defensive air combat, close air support, and aerial deterrence of maritime forces.
The TRCSG consists of USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), Destroyer Squadron 23, and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Russell (DDG 59).
Theodore Roosevelt's embarked air wing consists of the "Tomcatters" of Strike Fighter Squadrons (VFA) 31, "Golden Warriors" of VFA-87, "Blue Diamonds" of VFA-146, "Black Knights" of VFA-154, "Liberty Bells" of Airborne Command and Control Squadron (VAW) 115, "The Gray Wolves" of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 142, "Wolf Pack" of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 75, "Eightballers" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 8 and "Providers" of Fleet Logistic Support Squadron (VRC) 30 Detachment 3.
Theodore Roosevelt departed San Diego for a scheduled deployment to the Indo-Pacific December 23.