SOUTH CHINA SEA - Assets assigned to Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1 and the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) participated in an Air Surface Warfare exercise in the South China Sea Jan. 19-20.

USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), USS Stockdale (DDG 106), USS Gridley (DDG 101) and USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) joined aircraft assigned to Carrier Airwing 17 in skill evolutions designed to improve bilateral interoperability with RSS Stalwart, RSS Tenacious, RSS Valour, RSS Vigour, RSS Brave, RSS Chieftain and three RSN Fokker 50s.

The exercise included a visit from two RSN liaison naval officers to USS Carl Vinson and focused on strengthening exchanges between the Singapore and U.S. Navies.

“The primary point of the exercise is to engage an important regional partner and increase our Navy to Navy cooperation,” said Lt. Cmdr. Axel Steiner, a planning officer for Commander Destroyer Squadron 1. “Singapore has a very impressive and professional Navy.”

The U.S. Navy maintains a robust forward presence in the Asia-Pacific region, utilizing both forward deployed naval forces in Japan and Guam, as well as rotationally deployed forces from the continental United States and Hawaii.

Carrier Strike Group 1 was formally established October 1, 2009 and led Vinson and Bunker Hill when the ships supported disaster response and humanitarian operations in Haiti this year. This is the first deployment of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, Stockdale. This is Bunker Hill’s first deployment since it underwent cruiser modernization, the first Ticonderoga class guided-missile cruiser to complete its mid-life modernization. This is Vinson’s first deployment to 7th Fleet since 2005.