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Theodore Roosevelt CSG, Royal Malaysian Air Force conduct bilateral exercise

07 April 2021

From MC3 Dartañon D. De La Garza, USS Theodore Roosevelt

The exercise in the South China Sea focused on joint-air operations and unit integration.

SOUTH CHINA SEA - The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG) conducted a bilateral exercise with the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) in the South China Sea April 6-7.

This exercise was the first bilateral exercise between the U.S. and Malaysia in 2021.

“We are thankful for the opportunity to train alongside the Royal Malaysian Air Force,” said Rear Adm. Doug Verissimo, commander, Carrier Strike Group Nine. “While we would have loved to meet face to face, I am excited that we can meet in the air to help deepen security cooperation between our two nations. Our continued pursuit of interoperability is essential to maintaining peace and security in the Indo-Pacific.”

USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 engaged in Dissimilar Air Combat Training (DACT) with the RMAF. Both countries had the opportunity to hone their tactics and enhance their ability to work side by side.

“Much like iron sharpens iron, these high-end exercises with the Royal Malaysian Air Force enable us to learn from each other and provide realistic training in the air,” said Capt. Michael Langbehn, commander, Carrier Air Wing 11. “The air wing appreciates the chance to fly alongside our partners as we work to increase our ability to operate together.”

The exercise focused on joint-air operations and unit integration. It demonstrated the strength of the relationship between the two nations as well as the proficiency of their forces.

The TRCSG is on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet to help ensure freedom of the seas, build partnerships that foster maritime security, and to conduct a wide range of operations that support humanitarian efforts and act as deterrence to potential malign actions.

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 destroyers USS Russell (DDG 59) and USS John Finn (DDG 113).

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, “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.

TRCSG’s operability in the region directly supports the Chief of Naval Operation’s navigation plan to master all-domain fleet operations, and exercise with like-minded navies to enhance our collective strength.

U.S. 7th Fleet conducts forward-deployed naval operations in support of U.S. national interests in the Indo-Pacific area of operations. As the U.S. Navy’s largest numbered fleet, 7th Fleet interacts with 35 other maritime nations to build partnerships that foster maritime security, promote stability, and prevent conflict.

Theodore Roosevelt departed San Diego for a scheduled deployment to the Indo-Pacific December 23.

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