The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group transits in formation with the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group in the South China Sea. (U.S. Navy/MC3 Terence Deleon Guerrero)

SOUTH CHINA SEA - The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG) and the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) joined forces in the South China Sea to conduct Expeditionary Strike Force operations April 9.

Ships and aircraft from both strike groups coordinated operations in international waters and conducted multi-domain naval integration exercises in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

"Combining the capabilities of the carrier strike group with those of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group sharpens our tactical skills and demonstrates our continued dedication to the security and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific," said Rear Adm. Doug Verissimo, commander, Carrier Strike Group Nine. "The combined Navy and Marine Corps team has been a stabilizing force in this region for more than a century and will continue to support all who share in the collective vision of peace, stability, and freedom of the seas."

While operating together, the Expeditionary Strike Force participated in a variety of evolutions including tactical maneuvering, and establishing joint command and control communications.

"Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, and the carrier strike group are a strong example of the value a deployed naval expeditionary force brings to combatant commanders and joint partners in the region," said Capt. Stewart Bateshansky, commodore, Amphibious Squadron 3. "This expeditionary strike force fully demonstrates that we maintain a combat-credible force, capable of responding to any contingency, deter aggression, and provide regional security and stability in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific."

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.

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.

The Makin Island ARG is comprised of three ships; amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8), amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25), amphibious transport dock ship USS San Diego (LPD 22); and detachments from the "Wildcards" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 23, "Scorpions" of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 49, Tactical Air Control Squadron (VTC) 11, and Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 5.

Also, embarked across the three ships of the Makin Island ARG is the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which consists of the Command Element; the Aviation Combat Element comprised of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 164 (Reinforced); the Ground Combat Element comprised of Battalion Landing Team 1/4; and the Logistics Combat Element, comprised of Combat Logistics Battalion 15.

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

For more news from USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn71/

The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group transits in formation with the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group in the South China Sea. (U.S. Navy/MC3 Terence Deleon Guerrero)

USS Port Royal (CG 73), right, and USS San Diego (LPD 22) transit in formation with the Theodore Roosevelt CSG and the Makin Island ARG in the South China Sea.(U.S. Navy/MCSN Eduardo A. Torres)

The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group transits in formation with the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group in the South China Sea.(U.S. Navy/MCSN Faith McCollum)