In this file photo, an F/A-18E Super Hornet from the "Dambusters" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 195 flies over aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) during flight operations in the Pacific Ocean, June 14. (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Neal Young)

ABOARD USS BLUE RIDGE -The U.S. Navy's only forward deployed aircraft carrier strike group is conducting a trilateral event in the East China Sea, June 21-22.

The George Washington (CVN 73) carrier strike group (GWCSG) is conducting a trilateral exercise with ships and aircraft from the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) and the Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy.

The exercise is taking place beyond the territorial seas of any coastal nation and is intended to reinforce regional security and stability and increase interoperability, operational proficiency and readiness. The exercise will include integrated helicopters operations, visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) exchanges and demonstration, communication links interoperability, dynamic ship maneuvers and liaison officer exchanges.

U.S. Navy ships scheduled to participate include the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73), with embarked Carrier Air Wing 5 and Destroyer Squadron 15; the guided-missile cruisers USS Cowpens (CG 63) and USS Shiloh (CG 67); the guided-missile destroyers USS Lassen (DDG 82) and McCampbell (DDG 85).

The U.S. Navy is committed to helping enhance the security and stability of the Asia-Pacific region, and our forward presence activities and engagements in this region are routine. U.S. military operations and events are a part of a larger forward presence to strengthen our alliances and partnerships, and established security cooperation activities. U.S. forward presence is in accordance with international law and contributes to freedom of navigation and overflight and other lawful uses of the sea, economic development, and international commerce.

For a list of participating Republic of Korea Navy assets, please contact the Republic of Korea Ministry of National Defense. For a list of participating Japan Maritime Self Defense Force assets, please contact the Japan Maritime Staff Office.