USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115) transits the Philippine Sea. (U.S. Navy/MC3 Sean Lynch)

PHILIPPINE SEA - Units and personnel from the U.S. Navy and the U.S Marine Corps are conducting integrated operations in support of regional security and stability in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.

These operations at sea focus on interoperability to further develop warfighting concepts, improve distributed maritime operations, and enable real-world proficiency and readiness in response to any contingency.

"Our forward-deployed naval forces at sea are spread from the Sea of Japan to operations in the South China Sea and Indian Ocean," said Capt. Steven De Moss, commodore of Destroyer Squadron 15. "I am excited to bring some of those forces together to conduct a large scale integration of this nature. It sharpens our warfighting readiness, while continuing to support regional security, stability, and international norms."

Operations include the III Marine Expeditionary Force; amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18); guided-missile destroyers USS Barry (DDG 52), USS Mustin (DDG 89), USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115), and USS Russell (DDG 59); combat logistics Force ships USNS Alan Sheppard (T-AKE 3), USNS Pecos (T-AO 197); and maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft.

Integrated operations at sea helps the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps further develop regional capabilities that provide layered defensive options to protect U.S. interests and those of allies and partners. The participating forces exercised a wide range of capabilities and demonstrated the inherent flexibility of our forces, enabled by professional mariners from the combat logistics force.

“Our civilian mariners serving aboard our combat logistics force ships are unsung heroes,” said Capt. Robert Williams, commander, Military Sealift Command Far East. “Every day, our CLF Mariners sail alongside our Sailors and Marines ensuring the readiness and resiliency of our forward-deployed naval forces.”

Operating together enhances the ability of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps to confront any contingency, and prepares forces to provide the ready, credible deterrence that stabilizes the Indo-Pacific and promotes peace and prosperity for all nations throughout the region.

U.S. 7th Fleet provides security alongside allies and partners throughout a free and open Indo-Pacific. As the U.S. Navy's largest forward-deployed fleet, 7th Fleet operates roughly 50-70 ships and submarines and 140 aircraft with approximately 20,000 Sailors.

Seaman Christopher Finch stands lookout aboard USS Mustin (DDG 89). (U.S. Navy/MC2 Cody Beam)

Sailors aboard USS Raffael Peralta (DDG 115) prepare to conduct a replenishment-at-sea while approaching USNS Alan Shepard (T-AKE 3) with USS Russell (DDG 59) alongside. (U.S. Navy/MC2 Jason Isaacs)