UPDATED: USS Tripoli Returns to San Diego After Seven-Month Maiden Deployment

This post has been updated with a statement from Expeditionary Strike Group 3. Amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli (LHA-7) returned home on Tuesday following a seven-month deployment to the Indo-Pacific, the Navy announced. The America-class amphib pulled into its homeport of Naval Base San Diego, Calif., Tuesday morning local time. The ship quietly left for […]

USS Tripoli (LHA-7) coming into San Diego, Calif., on Nov. 29, 2022. Photo via San Diego Web Cam used with permission

This post has been updated with a statement from Expeditionary Strike Group 3.

Amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli (LHA-7) returned home on Tuesday following a seven-month deployment to the Indo-Pacific, the Navy announced.

The America-class amphib pulled into its homeport of Naval Base San Diego, Calif., Tuesday morning local time.

The ship quietly left for its maiden deployment in May and spent the first few months testing out the “lightning carrier” or “assault carrier” concept with U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters aboard.

Capt. Joel Lang, commanding officer of amphibious assault carrier USS Tripoli (LHA-7) watches an F-35B Lightning II aircraft assigned to Marine Strike Fighter Squadron (VMFA) 121 prepare to launch from the flight deck on July 24, 2022. US Navy Photo

“The U.S. Marine Corps embarked 16 F-35Bs aboard Tripoli, which flew missions in support of exercises Valiant Shield 22 and Noble Fusion,” according to a Tuesday release from Expeditionary Strike Group 3.
“Overall, the crew completed 2,052 hours of flight operations and traveled 40,303 nautical miles during exercise support.”

That testing evaluated how a big-deck amphibious warship can work with a carrier strike group, USNI News previously reported.

“One day you can have F-35Bs on the flight deck, the next day you could have MV-22s and you can be putting Marines ashore. And so it just is a very versatile instrument and the fact that you have 14 5th-gen fighters on board – it’s an incredibly capable sensor,” U.S. 7th Fleet commander Vice Adm. Karl Thomas said in October of the concept and testing. “And so we’re still in the experimentation phase. We wanted to at least try to find out how would you integrate an assault carrier with a full-sized carrier. What missions might it be able to do?”

During Tripoli‘s time in the Indo-Pacific, it drilled with aircraft carriers USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) and USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) for the Valiant Shield exercise in June.

“What we found is we distributed our three large decks for a period of time,” Thomas said of the June exercise.
“There’s mission sets that I think that it’ll be designed for. I think that there are regions where it can operate in a better capacity. And then I think that because of the vertical takeoff nature of the F-35, you can find yourself putting F-35s in [Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations] and maybe bring them back out to the ship for some maintenance and you move them elsewhere,” he continued. “Maybe you latch them up with the carrier and you use the command and control of the electronic countermeasure capability of the [E2-D Advanced Hawkeye and the EA-18G Growlers]. So we’re still in the experiment phase.”

Following the F-35B testing during Valiant Shield, the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit came aboard Tripoli at the end of July. The amphib was on station operating on the edge of the South China Sea near Taiwan in early August ahead of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) visit to the island.

USS Tripoli (LHA-7) departs Naval Air Station North Island, Calif., April 7, 2022. US Navy Photo

At the end of AugustTripoli made a port call in Singapore after operating in the South China Sea.

The ship continued operating in the Western Pacific throughout the fall and also sailed to Australia, making port calls in Sydney and Hobart, Tasmania earlier this month.

USS Tripoli Nearing San Diego After Almost 7 Months at Sea, Makin Island Now in U.S. 7th Fleet

USS Tripoli (LHA-7) has entered U.S. 3rd Fleet and is preparing to return to its homeport in San Diego after a nearly seven-month deployment, according to the USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker. As of Monday, the amphibious warship has been deployed for 210 days since leaving San Diego on May 2nd. Tripoli’s independent deployment […]

USS Tripoli (LHA-7) pulls into Sydney harbor on Nov. 4, 2022. Royal Australian Navy Photo

USS Tripoli (LHA-7) has entered U.S. 3rd Fleet and is preparing to return to its homeport in San Diego after a nearly seven-month deployment, according to the USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker.

As of Monday, the amphibious warship has been deployed for 210 days since leaving San Diego on May 2nd.

Tripoli’s independent deployment was in part to test the F-35B “Lighting Carrier” concept that would load up to two dozen of the Marine fighters aboard the big deck amphibious warship as an adjunct to a traditional carrier strike group. Following the 2022 Valiant Shield exercise near Guam, the warship transitioned into an amphibious ready force with the Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 262 (Reinforced) embarked. Since the ship began its deployment in May, Tripoli has also had a detachment of MH-60S Knight Hawks embarked from the “Wildcards” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 23.

“We’re not an aircraft carrier,” Col. Chad Vaughn, commander of Marine Aircraft Group 13, told USNI News prior to its deployment. “We are an LHA that is very uniquely suited to aviation operations – whether that’s an assault or in this case, a lightning carrier. The traditional carrier has capabilities that are unique that we do not [have]. We do some unique things that we can help out the joint task force or the combatant commander and do unique things to help out those CVNs and help out the Marine commander on the ground, whoever it is. We have some unique capabilities, especially when you put 20 F-35s on here.”

USS Makin Island (LHD-8) pulls into Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii on Nov. 20, 2022. Photo by Ed. Schaefer used with permission

Meanwhile, big deck amphibious warship USS Makin Island (LHD-8) is now operating in U.S. 7th Fleet after deploying earlier this month, according to Monday’s USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker.

The warship pulled into Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on Nov. 20 and departed a few days later, according to ship spotters. The two other ships in the Amphibious Ready Group, USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) and USS Anchorage (LPD-23), were still at Pearl Harbor as of Monday morning.

Makin Island and Murtha departed Naval Station San Diego, Calif., for their deployment on Nov. 9 with no fanfare. Anchorage followed the two amphibious warships the next day. The ARG is embarked with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

Makin Island is deploying with a full squadron of 10 Marine F-35B Lighting Joint Strike Fighters from the “Flying Leathernecks” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 122.

The Navy has released little information on the deployment since the ships departed San Diego. U.S. Pacific Fleet commander Adm. Samuel Paparo told reporters earlier this month he had specific training objectives for the Makin Island ARG and the 13th MEU, “and that’s what’s informing why we deploy that force with no advance notice.”

USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker: Nov. 28, 2022

These are the approximate positions of the U.S. Navy’s deployed carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups throughout the world as of Nov. 28, 2022, based on Navy and public data. In cases where a CSG or ARG is conducting disaggregated operations, the chart reflects the location of the capital ship. Ships Underway Total Battle […]

USNI News Graphic

These are the approximate positions of the U.S. Navy’s deployed carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups throughout the world as of Nov. 28, 2022, based on Navy and public data. In cases where a CSG or ARG is conducting disaggregated operations, the chart reflects the location of the capital ship.

Ships Underway

Total Battle Force Deployed Underway
292
(USS 236, USNS 56)
100
(USS 65, USNS 35)
 43
(41 Deployed, 2 Local)

Ships Deployed by Fleet

2nd Fleet 3rd Fleet 4th Fleet 5th Fleet 6th Fleet 7th Fleet Total
4 2 2 13 21 58 100

In the Philippine Sea

Capt. Daryle Cardone, commanding officer of USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), speaks with sailors prior to Thanksgiving dinner on the mess decks, in the Philippine Sea, Nov. 24, 2022. US Navy Photo

The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group (CSG) is underway in the Philippine Sea.

Carrier Strike Group 5

USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), prepares to come alongside the Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler, USNS Rappahannock (T-AO-204), prior to a fueling-at-sea in the Philippine Sea on Nov. 23, 2022. US Navy Photo

Aircraft carrier

USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), homeported in Yokosuka, Japan.

Carrier Air Wing 5

An MH-60S Knight Hawk, attached to the ‘Golden Falcons’ of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 12, takes off from the flight deck of USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), in the Philippine Sea on Nov. 23, 2022. US Navy Photo

Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, based at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, is embarked aboard Ronald Reagan and includes a total of nine squadrons and detachments:

  • The “Royal Maces” of VFA-27 – Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) – from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan.
  • The “Diamondbacks” of VFA-102 from MCAS Iwakuni.
  • The “Eagles” of VFA-115 from MCAS Iwakuni.
  • The “Dambusters” of VFA-195 from MCAS Iwakuni.
  • The “Shadowhawks” of VAQ-141 – Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) – from MCAS Iwakuni.
  • The “Tiger Tails” of VAW-125 – Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) – from MCAS Iwakuni.
  • The “Providers” of VRC-30 – Detachment 5 – Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) – from MCAS Iwakuni.
  • The “Golden Falcons” of HSC-12 – Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) – from Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan.
  • The “Saberhawks” of HSM-77 – Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) – from Naval Air Facility Atsugi.

Cruisers

Sailors enjoy a Thanksgiving feast in the mess decks aboard Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG-62) in the Philippine Sea, Nov. 24, 2022. US Navy Photo

USS Chancellorsville (CG-62), homeported in Yokosuka, Japan.

Destroyer Squadron 15

Lt. Darren Paraiso, from San Diego, monitors surface contacts from the combat information center aboard Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Milius (DDG-69) while operating in the Philippine Sea, Nov. 16, 2022. US Navy Photo

Destroyer Squadron 15 is based in Yokosuka, Japan, and is embarked on the carrier. Destroyers from Destroyer Squadron 15 are also assigned to the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group.

  • USS Milius (DDG-69), homeported in Yokosuka.

In Sasebo, Japan

Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Stacie Booth, from Portland, assigned to the forward-deployed amphibious assault carrier USS America (LHA-6), serves egg nog during a Thanksgiving meal in the ship’s galley in Sasebo, Japan, Nov. 23, 2022. US Navy Photo

USS America (LHA-6) remains in its homeport in Sasebo, Japan.

In the Pacific Ocean

Gas Turbine Systems Technician (Mechanical) 2nd Class Chad Waugh, left, and Engineman 2nd Class Lea Fernandez search for a shipboard casualty during a general quarters drill aboard amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD-8), Nov. 17, 2022. US Navy Photo

The Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) embarked has chopped into U.S. 7th Fleet. Amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD-8), the flagship of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, left Naval Base San Diego on Nov. 9 for a deployment to the Indo-Pacific region. The ARG includes Makin Island and amphibious transport docks USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) and USS Anchorage (LPD-23). The three ships made a port call to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii last week.

The MEU includes the aviation combat element with the “Flying Leathernecks” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 122 flying F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters and the “Ugly Angels” of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 362 (Reinforced) flying MV-22B Ospreys; the logistics combat element made up of Combat Logistics Battalion 13; and the ground combat element with 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines.

In the Eastern Pacific

Sailors remove chocks and chains from an MH-60S Knight Hawk helicopter assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 23 on the flight deck aboard amphibious assault carrier USS Tripoli (LHA-7) Nov. 26, 2022. US Navy Photo

Amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli (LHA-7) is in the Mid-Pacific, transiting home to San Diego, Calif. Tripoli departed Naval Station San Diego for an independent deployment to the Western Pacific on May 2.

In the Mediterranean Sea

Sailors assigned to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) search for foreign objects debris (FOD) on the flight deck during a replenishment-at-sea with the supply-class fast combat support ship USNS Arctic (T-AOE-8) on Nov. 27, 2022. US Navy Photo

The George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group is underway in the Mediterranean Sea.

Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG 2) is operating in the Mediterranean Sea. U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Scott Sciretta, who assumed command of the group on July 1, is embarked aboard Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman (DDG-98) as SNMG 2’s flagship.

Carrier Strike Group 10

Culinary Specialist Seaman Ixshel Mendez, from Aurora, Colorado, assigned to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77), decorates a cake for a Thanksgiving meal, Nov. 24, 2022. US Navy Photo

Carrier

USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77), homeported in Norfolk, Va.

Carrier Air Wing 7

An F/A-18E Super Hornet, attached to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 143, flies above the Ionian Sea with Italian AV-8B Harrier II aircraft, Nov. 23, 2022. US Navy Photo

Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, based on Naval Air Station Oceana, Va., is embarked on Bush and includes:

  • The “Pukin’ Dogs” of VFA-143 Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) flying F/A-18Es from Naval Air Station Oceana, Va.
  • The “Jolly Rogers” of VFA-103 – F/A-18F – from Naval Air Station Oceana.
  • The “Sidewinders” of VFA-86 – F/A-18E – from Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif.
  • The “Knighthawks” of VFA-136 – F/A-18E – from Naval Air Station Lemoore.
  • The “Patriots” of VAQ-140 – EA-18G – Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) – from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash.
  • The “Bluetails” of VAW-121 – E-2D – Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) – from Naval Air Station Norfolk, Va.
  • The “Rawhides” of VRC-40 – Detachment – C-2A – Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) – from Naval Air Station Norfolk.
  • The “Nightdippers” of HSC-5 – MH-60S – Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) – from Naval Air Station Norfolk.
  • The “Grandmasters” of HSM-46 – MH-60R – Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) – from Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla.

Cruiser

Fire Controlman Martin Cabello, assigned to the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG-55), lowers himself into the water during a search and rescue drill, Nov. 24, 2022. US Navy Photo

USS Leyte Gulf (CG-55), homeported at Naval Station Norfolk, Va.

Destroyer Squadron 26

Damage Controlman 1st Class Bryan Maccuish, assigned USS Truxtun (DDG-103), provides training to sailors during a chemical, biological, and radiological damage control drill on Nov. 16, 2022. US Navy Photo

Destroyer Squadron 26 is based in Norfolk and is embarked on the carrier. The following ships deployed with the strike group.

  • USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119), homeported at Naval Station Mayport, Fla.
  • USS Truxtun (DDG-103), homeported at Naval Station Norfolk.
  • USS Farragut (DDG-99), homeported at Naval Station Mayport.
  • USS Nitze (DDG-94), homeported at Naval Station Norfolk.

In Norfolk, Va.

The crew of USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) man the rails as the ship returns to Naval Station Norfolk, Nov. 26, 2022. US Navy Photo

The Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group (CSG) has returned to Norfolk. USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) left Naval Station Norfolk, Va., on Oct. 4, 2022, and exercised with allies and partners to operate and shake down ahead of next year’s regular deployment.

Carrier Strike Group 12


Carrier

USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), homeported at Naval Station Norfolk, Va.

Carrier Air Wing 8

Sailors assigned to the first-in-class aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford’s (CVN-78) air department observe flight operations during Carrier Airwing (CVW) Eight’s fly off following the ship’s inaugural deployment, Nov. 25, 2022. US Navy Photo

Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8 squadrons and detachments have returned to their homefields:

  • The “Golden Warriors” of VFA-87 Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) flying F/A-18Es – Naval Air Station Oceana, Va.
  • The “Ragin’ Bulls” of VFA-37 – F/A-18E – Naval Air Station Oceana.
  • The “Black Lions” of VFA-213 – F/A-18F – Naval Air Station Oceana.
  • The “Tomcatters” of VFA-31 – F/A-18E – Naval Air Station Oceana.
  • The “Gray Wolves” of VAQ-142 – EA-18G – Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) – Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash.
  • The “Bear Aces” of VAW-124 – E-2D – Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) – Naval Air Station Norfolk, Va.
  • The “Rawhides” of VRC-40 – Detachment – C-2A – Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) – Naval Air Station Norfolk.
  • The “Tridents” of HSC-9 – MH-60S – Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) – Naval Air Station Norfolk.
  • The “Spartans” of HSM-70 – MH-60R – Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) – Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla.

Cruiser

Seaman Alexa Gonzalez plays a boatswain’s pipe over an internal communications system to announce the start of sea and anchor detail on the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG-60) as the ship returns to home port at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., after being underway as part of the Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group, Nov. 25, 2022. US Navy Photo

USS Normandy (CG-60) returned to homeport at Naval Station Norfolk.

Destroyer Squadron 26

A sailor assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul (DDG-74) throws line to the pier upon returning to Naval Station Norfolk, Va., after completing a deployment in the Atlantic Ocean with the Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group on Nov. 26, 2022. US Navy Photo

Destroyer Squadron 26 returned to Norfolk. The following ships returned to their homeports:

  • USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116), homeported at Naval Station Mayport, Fla.
  • USS Ramage (DDG-61), homeported at Naval Station Norfolk.
  • USS McFaul (DDG-74), homeported at Naval Station Mayport.
  • USCGC Hamilton (WMSL 753) homeported in North Charleston, S.C.

In addition to these major formations, not shown are others serving in submarines, individual surface ships, aircraft squadrons, SEALs, Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Forces, Seabees, Coast Guard cutters, EOD Mobile Units and more serving throughout the globe.

USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker: Nov. 21, 2022

These are the approximate positions of the U.S. Navy’s deployed carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups throughout the world as of Nov. 21, 2022, based on Navy and public data. In cases where a CSG or ARG is conducting disaggregated operations, the chart reflects the location of the capital ship. Ships Underway Total Battle […]

USNI News Graphic

These are the approximate positions of the U.S. Navy’s deployed carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups throughout the world as of Nov. 21, 2022, based on Navy and public data. In cases where a CSG or ARG is conducting disaggregated operations, the chart reflects the location of the capital ship.

Ships Underway

Total Battle Force Deployed Underway
292
(USS 236, USNS 56)
106
(USS 70, USNS 36)
 62
(46 Deployed, 16 Local)

Ships Deployed by Fleet

2nd Fleet 3rd Fleet 4th Fleet 5th Fleet 6th Fleet 7th Fleet Total
4 5 2 13 27 55 106

In the Philippine Sea

USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) and Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 5 units conduct tri-lateral operations with JS Setogiri (DD-156) of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and HMAS Stalwart (A304) of the Royal Australian Navy on Nov. 20, 2022. US Navy Photo

The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group (CSG) is underway in the Philippine Sea. Last week, the strike group completed its participation in Exercise Malabar 2022, which wrapped up on Nov. 15.

Malabar started in 1992 with the United States and India, but now Japan and Australia also participate. This year’s Malabar exercise included aircraft and personnel from Australia, India, Japan and the U.S. in the Philippine Sea, off the coast of Japan, according to the NavyJapan was the exercise lead for 2022.

U.S. Malabar participants were USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), CSG 5, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG-62) and guided-missile destroyer USS Milius (DDG-69).

Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force assets were JS Hyuga (DDH-181), JS Shiranui(DD-120),JS Takanami (DD-115), JS Oumi (AOE 426) and a P-1 aircraft.

The Indian Navy sent a Shivalik-class FFG, a Kamorta-Class Corvette, a P-8I aircraft. Marine Commandos (MARCOS) personnel also participated for India.

Australia sent Submarine HMAS Farncomb (SSG-74), frigate HMAS Arunta (FFH 151) and replenishment oiler HMAS Stalwart (A304). In addition, the Royal Australian Air Force P-8A maritime patrol aircraft participated in support of the Royal Australian Navy.

Carrier Strike Group 5

Ships from the U.S. Navy, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), Royal Navy, Royal Australian Navy and Royal Canadian Navy steam in formation during Keen Sword 23, in the Philippine Sea on Nov. 14, 2022. US Navy Photo

Aircraft carrier
USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), homeported in Yokosuka, Japan.

Carrier Air Wing 5

Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) Airman Evan Williams, from Columbia, South Carolina, attaches a C-2A Greyhound, attached to the Fleet Logistics Squadron (VRC) 30 Det. 5, to a catapult shuttle on the flight deck of USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), in the Philippine Sea on Nov. 18, 2022. US Navy Photo

Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, based at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, is embarked aboard Ronald Reagan and includes a total of nine squadrons and detachments:

  • The “Royal Maces” of VFA-27 – Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) – from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan.
  • The “Diamondbacks” of VFA-102 from MCAS Iwakuni.
  • The “Eagles” of VFA-115 from MCAS Iwakuni.
  • The “Dambusters” of VFA-195 from MCAS Iwakuni.
  • The “Shadowhawks” of VAQ-141 – Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) – from MCAS Iwakuni.
  • The “Tiger Tails” of VAW-125 – Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) – from MCAS Iwakuni.
  • The “Providers” of VRC-30 – Detachment 5 – Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) – from MCAS Iwakuni.
  • The “Golden Falcons” of HSC-12 – Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) – from Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan.
  • The “Saberhawks” of HSM-77 – Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) – from Naval Air Facility Atsugi.

Cruisers

Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser, USS Chancellorsville (CG-62), steams in formation with Royal Australian Navy supply ship, HMAS Stalwart (A304), in the Philippine Sea, Nov. 20, 2022. US Navy Photo

USS Chancellorsville (CG-62), homeported in Yokosuka, Japan.

Destroyer Squadron 15

Seaman Juan Camacho, from Fantino, Dominican Republic, conducts duties as the helmsman aboard Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Milius (DDG-69) while operating in the Philippine Sea, Nov. 16, 2022. US Navy Photo

Destroyer Squadron 15 is based in Yokosuka, Japan, and is embarked on the carrier. Destroyers from Destroyer Squadron 15 are also assigned to the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group.

  • USS Milius (DDG-69), homeported in Yokosuka.

In Sasebo, Japan

Capt. David Adams, Commander, Fleet Activities Sasebo (CFAS); Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Capt. Masayuki Kishimoto, JMSDF Sasebo Repair and Supply Facility commander; Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) Col. Tetsuo Fukuzoe, JGSDF 16th Infantry Regiment commander; salute during the closing ceremony of Exercise Keen Sword 2023 at CFAS on Nov. 18, 2022. US Navy Photo

USS America (LHA-6) remains in its homeport in Sasebo, Japan

In Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

USS Makin Island (LHD-8) pulls into Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii on Nov. 20, 2022. Photo by Ed. Schaefer used with permission

Amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD-8), the flagship of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, left Naval Base San Diego on Nov. 9 for a deployment to the Indo-Pacific region. The Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit embarked includes Makin Island and amphibious transport docks USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) and USS Anchorage (LPD-23).

Makin Island and Anchorage pulled into Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam over the weekend.

John P. Murtha returned to port in San Diego to correct a casualty in the ship’s lube oil system. Repairs took two days and the ship departed again on Nov.17, reported USNI News.

The ARG/MEU includes the aviation combat element with the “Flying Leathernecks” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 122 flying F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters and the “Ugly Angels” of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 362 (Reinforced) flying MV-22B Ospreys; the logistics combat element made up of Combat Logistics Battalion 13; and the ground combat element with 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines.

In the Middle Pacific

Capt. John Kiefaber, commanding officer of amphibious assault carrier USS Tripoli (LHA-7), speaks to the crew during an all-hands call in the hangar bay Nov. 17, 2022. US Navy Photo

Amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli (LHA-7) is in the Mid-Pacific – transiting home to San Diego, Calif. Tripoli departed Naval Station San Diego for an independent deployment to the Western Pacific on May 2.

In the Adriatic Sea

Sailors assigned to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77), guide an F/A 18E Super Hornet, attached to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 136, onto the catapult during flight operations on Nov. 13, 2022. US Navy Photo

The George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group (CSG) remains on station in the Adriatic Sea. Early last week, Rear Adm. John Meier, Commander Naval Air Forces Atlantic, visited the strike group. The CSG is participating in NATO maneuvers in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea throughout November, bringing together five aircraft carriers.

As reported by USNI News last week, U.S. aircraft carriers USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) and USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) will exercise with aircraft carriers from France, Italy and the United Kingdom as part of a joint operation across Europe meant to show NATO interoperability, the Pentagon announced Thursday. The two American carrier strike groups, their embarked air wings and escorts will be operating in the North Atlantic Ocean, North Sea and Mediterranean Sea along with the U.K. Royal Navy’s HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08), Italian carrier ITS Cavour (CVH 550) and the French FS Charles de Gaulle (R 91).

Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG 2) is operating in the Mediterranean Sea. U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Scott Sciretta, who assumed command of the group on July 1, is embarked aboard Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman (DDG-98) as SNMG 2’s flagship.

Carrier Strike Group 10

Interior Communications Electrician 3rd Class Shuheim Bradley, from Niagara Falls, N.Y., assigned to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77), monitors cameras on the flight deck, Nov. 18, 2022. US Navy Photo

Carrier
USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77), homeported in Norfolk, Va.

Carrier Air Wing 7

A MH-60S Knight Hawk helicopter attached to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 5, delivers cargo to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77), during a replenishment-at-sea with the supply-class fast combat support ship USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8), Nov. 12, 2022. US Navy Photo

Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, based on Naval Air Station Oceana, Va., is embarked on Bush and includes:

  • The “Pukin’ Dogs” of VFA-143 Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) flying F/A-18Es from Naval Air Station Oceana, Va.
  • The “Jolly Rogers” of VFA-103 – F/A-18F – from Naval Air Station Oceana.
  • The “Sidewinders” of VFA-86 – F/A-18E – from Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif.
  • The “Knighthawks” of VFA-136 – F/A-18E – from Naval Air Station Lemoore.
  • The “Patriots” of VAQ-140 – EA-18G – Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) – from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash.
  • The “Bluetails” of VAW-121 – E-2D – Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) – from Naval Air Station Norfolk, Va.
  • The “Rawhides” of VRC-40 – Detachment – C-2A – Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) – from Naval Air Station Norfolk.
  • The “Nightdippers” of HSC-5 – MH-60S – Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) – from Naval Air Station Norfolk.
  • The “Grandmasters” of HSM-46 – MH-60R – Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) – from Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla.

Cruiser

Lt. Cmdr. Michael Dennison, assigned to the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG-55), participates in an air defense exercise with Italian navy frigate ITS Carabiniere (F 593), Nov. 15, 2022. US Navy Photo

USS Leyte Gulf (CG-55), homeported at Naval Station Norfolk, Va.

Destroyer Squadron 26

Rear Adm. Dennis Velez, commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 10, George H.W. Bush CSG, salutes side boys as he arrives aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Farragut (DDG-99) on Nov. 15, 2022. US Navy Photo

Destroyer Squadron 26 is based in Norfolk and is embarked on the carrier. The following ships deployed with the strike group.

  • USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119), homeported at Naval Station Mayport, Fla.
  • USS Truxtun (DDG-103), homeported at Naval Station Norfolk.
  • USS Farragut (DDG-99), homeported at Naval Station Mayport.
  • USS Nitze (DDG-94), homeported at Naval Station Norfolk.

In the Eastern Atlantic

A view from USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116) of the first-in-class aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) as it prepares to leave Portsmouth, England, Nov. 18, 2022. US Navy Photo

The Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group (CSG) is underway after a port call in Portsmouth, U.K. The CSG is participating in NATO exercises. According to NATO, “NATO navies are holding maneuvers in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea throughout November, bringing together five aircraft carriers, numerous warships and thousands of sailors. Carrier activities will include anti-submarine and air warfare drills, deck-to-deck aircraft transfers and at-sea resupplying.”

USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) left Naval Station Norfolk, Va., on Oct. 4, 2022, and will operate throughout the Atlantic, exercise with allies and partners and operationally employ the carrier air wing for the first time.

Ford features 23 new technologies, including the Electro-Magnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS), the Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG), the Dual-Band Radar, Advanced Weapons Elevators (AWE) and the new A1B nuclear reactor design.

Carrier Strike Group 12

Sailors hoist a flag staff aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116) as part of the Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group, as the ship ports in Portsmouth, England on Nov. 14, 2022. US Navy Photo

Carrier
USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), homeported at Naval Station Norfolk, Va.

Carrier Air Wing 8

USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) transits to Portsmouth, England, for the ship’s second international port visit, Nov. 14, 2022. US Navy Photo

Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8, based on Naval Air Station Oceana, Va., is embarked on Ford and includes nine squadrons and detachments:

  • The “Golden Warriors” of VFA-87 Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) flying F/A-18Es from Naval Air Station Oceana, Va.
  • The “Ragin’ Bulls” of VFA-37 – F/A-18E – from Naval Air Station Oceana.
  • The “Black Lions” of VFA-213 – F/A-18F – from Naval Air Station Oceana.
  • The “Tomcatters” of VFA-31 – F/A-18E – from Naval Air Station Oceana.
  • The “Gray Wolves” of VAQ-142 – EA-18G – Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) – from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash.
  • The “Bear Aces” of VAW-124 – E-2D – Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) – from Naval Air Station Norfolk, Va.
  • The “Rawhides” of VRC-40 – Detachment – C-2A – Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) – from Naval Air Station Norfolk.
  • The “Tridents” of HSC-9 – MH-60S – Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) – from Naval Air Station Norfolk.
  • The “Spartans” of HSM-70 – MH-60R – Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) – from Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla.

Cruiser

USS Normandy (CG-60) moors in its namesake region of France while underway as part of the Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group, Nov. 14, 2022. US Navy Photo

USS Normandy (CG-60), homeported at Naval Station Norfolk.

Destroyer Squadron 2

Lt. Sephora Fortune stands on the bridge wing of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116) as part of the Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group, as the ship departs from Portsmouth, England, Nov. 18, 2022. US Navy Photo

Destroyer Squadron 26 is based in Norfolk and is embarked on the carrier. The following ships deployed with the strike group.

  • USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116), homeported at Naval Station Mayport, Fla.
  • USS Ramage (DDG-61), homeported at Naval Station Norfolk.
  • USS McFaul (DDG-74), homeported at Naval Station Mayport.
  • USCGC Hamilton (WMSL 753) homeported in North Charleston, SC.

The CSG also includes fleet logistics ships USNS Robert E. Peary (T-AKE-5) and USNS Joshua Humphreys (T-AO-188).

In addition to these major formations, not shown are others serving in submarines, individual surface ships, aircraft squadrons, SEALs, Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Forces, Seabees, Coast Guard cutters, EOD Mobile Units and more serving throughout the globe.

USS John P. Murtha Underway After Repairs in San Diego

Amphibious warship USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) left San Diego, Calif., on Thursday after two days of repairs, USNI News has learned. The ship left San Diego just after 11 a.m. local time, according to local ship spotters. The amphib, assigned to the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, returned to port after deploying last week. […]

USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) leaving San Diego, Calif., on Nov. 17, 2022. Photo via San Diego Web Cam used with permission

Amphibious warship USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) left San Diego, Calif., on Thursday after two days of repairs, USNI News has learned.

The ship left San Diego just after 11 a.m. local time, according to local ship spotters. The amphib, assigned to the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, returned to port after deploying last week.

A spokesperson from Expeditionary Strike Group 3 told USNI News that Murtha suffered a casualty in the ship’s lube oil system that was repaired. The spokesperson did not have additional details on the casualty.

Murtha deployed with USS Makin Island (LHD-8) and USS Anchorage (LPD-23) with 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit for a Pacific deployment.

The ARG/MEU includes the aviation combat element with the “Flying Leathernecks” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 122 flying F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters and the “Ugly Angels” of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 362 (Reinforced) flying MV-22B Ospreys; the logistics combat element made up of Combat Logistics Battalion 13; and the ground combat element with 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines.

Murtha and Anchorage have been tested as recovery platforms for NASA’s Orion spacecraft. It’s unclear what San Antonio-class ship the Navy will use to recover the Orion capsule that was launched on Wednesday as part of the Artemis I mission. The capsule is expected back in mid-December.

Deployed Amphib USS John P. Murtha Back in San Diego to Fix ‘Maintenance Issue’

Amphibious warship USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) is back in San Diego to fix an unspecified maintenance issue after departing on deployment last week, USNI News has learned. Ship spotters saw the 25,000-ton warship entering San Diego harbor on Tuesday. Murtha left San Diego on Nov. 9 for its deployment as part of the Makin […]

USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) coming into San Diego, Calif., on Nov. 15, 2022. Photo via San Diego Web Cam used with permission

Amphibious warship USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) is back in San Diego to fix an unspecified maintenance issue after departing on deployment last week, USNI News has learned.

Ship spotters saw the 25,000-ton warship entering San Diego harbor on Tuesday. Murtha left San Diego on Nov. 9 for its deployment as part of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group.

A spokesperson for Expeditionary Strike Group 3 told USNI News the warship was back in port to “evaluate a maintenance issue.” The spokesperson did not have additional details on the mechanical issue.

Murtha, along with USS Makin Island (LHD-8) and USS Anchorage (LPD-23), left San Diego last week with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit embarked for a Pacific deployment.

The ARG/MEU includes the aviation combat element with the “Flying Leathernecks” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 122 flying F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters and the “Ugly Angels” of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 362 (Reinforced) flying MV-22B Ospreys; the logistics combat element made up of Combat Logistics Battalion 13; and the ground combat element with 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines.

In addition to preparing for the Makin Island ARG deployment, Murtha has been a key platform in testing the recovery of NASA’s Orion spacecraft along with Anchorage.

USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker: Nov. 14, 2022

These are the approximate positions of the U.S. Navy’s deployed carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups throughout the world as of Nov. 14, 2022, based on Navy and public data. In cases where a CSG or ARG is conducting disaggregated operations, the chart reflects the location of the capital ship. Ships Underway Total Battle […]

USNI News Graphic

These are the approximate positions of the U.S. Navy’s deployed carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups throughout the world as of Nov. 14, 2022, based on Navy and public data. In cases where a CSG or ARG is conducting disaggregated operations, the chart reflects the location of the capital ship.

Ships Underway

Total Battle Force Deployed Underway
292
(USS 236, USNS 56)
105
(USS 69, USNS 36)
 63
(51 Deployed, 12 Local)

Ships Deployed by Fleet

2nd Fleet 3rd Fleet 4th Fleet 5th Fleet 6th Fleet 7th Fleet Total
5 3 2 13 26 56 105

In the Philippine Sea

Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) Airman Christopher Strasser, from Sussex, Wisconsin, verifies the weight of an F/A-18E Super Hornet, attached to the ‘Royal Maces’ of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 27, in preparation for launch on the flight deck of USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), in the Philippine Sea on Nov. 13, 2022. U.S. Navy Photo

The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group (CSG) is underway in the Philippine Sea. Last week, the strike group participated in the start of Exercise Malabar 2022. The exercise includes aircraft and personnel from Australia, India, Japan, and the U.S. in the Philippine Sea, off the coast of Japan, according to the Navy. Japan is this year’s exercise lead.

Malabar started in 1992 with the United States and India, but now Japan and Australia also participate.

“This is the third time that all four nations have participated in Malabar to advance the collective planning, integration and employment of advanced warfare tactics between participating nations,” the Navy said in a news release.
“This year’s at-sea exercise includes a variety of high-end tactical training events, submarine integration, anti-submarine warfare training, air defense exercises, multinational replenishment-at-sea operations, communications drills, joint warfighting planning scenarios, gunnery exercise, and maritime interdiction operations.”

For the U.S. contingent, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), CSG 5, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG-62) and guided-missile destroyer USS Milius (DDG-69) joined for the drills.

The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force assets that joined for Malabar are JS Hyuga (DDH-181), JS Shiranui (DD-120),JS Takanami (DD-115), JS Oumi (AOE 426) and a P-1 aircraft.

A Shivalik-class FFG, a Kamorta-Class Corvette, a P-8I aircraft, and Marine Commandos (MARCOS) personnel are taking part in Malabar for the Indian Navy.

Submarine HMAS Farncomb (SSG-74), frigate HMAS Arunta (FFH 151), replenishment oiler HMAS Stalwart (A304), in addition to a Royal Australian Air Force P-8A maritime patrol aircraft, are participating on behalf of the Royal Australian Navy.

Carrier Strike Group 5

USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), steams in formation with a submarine from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) during Exercise Malabar 2022, in the Philippine Sea, Nov. 11, 2022. U.S. Navy Photo

Aircraft carrier

USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), homeported in Yokosuka, Japan.

Carrier Air Wing 5

An F/A-18E Super Hornet, attached to the ‘Royal Maces’ of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 27, launches from the flight deck of USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), in the Philippine Sea, Nov. 12, 2022. U.S. Navy Photo

Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, based at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, is embarked aboard Ronald Reagan and includes a total of nine squadrons and detachments:

  • The “Royal Maces” of VFA-27 – Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) – from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan.
  • The “Diamondbacks” of VFA-102 from MCAS Iwakuni.
  • The “Eagles” of VFA-115 from MCAS Iwakuni.
  • The “Dambusters” of VFA-195 from MCAS Iwakuni.
  • The “Shadowhawks” of VAQ-141 – Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) – from MCAS Iwakuni.
  • The “Tiger Tails” of VAW-125 – Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) – from MCAS Iwakuni.
  • The “Providers” of VRC-30 – Detachment 5 – Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) – from MCAS Iwakuni.
  • The “Golden Falcons” of HSC-12 – Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) – from Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan.
  • The “Saberhawks” of HSM-77 – Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) – from Naval Air Facility Atsugi.

Cruisers

USS Chancellorsville (CG-62) steams in formation with Royal Australian Navy ship HMAS Stalwart (A304), Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) vessel JS Shiranui (DDG-120) and guided-missile destroyer USS Milius (DDG-69) during Exercise Malabar 2022, in the Philippine Sea on Nov. 11, 2022. U.S. Navy Photo

USS Chancellorsville (CG-62), homeported in Yokosuka, Japan.

Destroyer Squadron 15

USS Milius (DDG-69), front, steams in formation with Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) ship, JS Takanami (DDG-110), Royal Australian Navy (RAN) ship HMAS Arunta (FFH 151) and Indian Navy ship INS Kamorta (P 28) during Exercise Malabar 2022, in the Philippine Sea on Nov. 11, 2022. U.S. Navy Photo

Destroyer Squadron 15 is based in Yokosuka, Japan, and is embarked on the carrier. Destroyers from Destroyer Squadron 15 are also assigned to the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group.

  • USS Milius (DDG-69), homeported in Yokosuka.

In the Tasman Sea

USS Tripoli (LHA-7) is moored pier-side in Hobart, Tasmania for a port visit Nov. 11, 2022. US Navy Photo

Amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli (LHA-7) made a port call to Hobart, Tasmania last week – arriving there Wednesday and departing on Sunday, according to local reports. The ship is expected to transit home and return to San Diego, Calif.

Tripoli departed Naval Station San Diego, Calif., for an independent deployment to the Western Pacific on May 2. For the first half of its deployment, Tripoli had been operating under the “lightning carrier” or “assault carrier” concept, in which it had more than a dozen F-35Bs aboard during its Pacific deployment. Tripoli then transitioned to an amphibious ready force with the Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 262 (Reinforced) embarked.

In Sasebo, Japan

Capt. David Adams, Commander, Fleet Activities Sasebo (CFAS), renders a salute during the opening ceremony of Exercise Keen Sword 2023 at CFAS on Nov. 9, 2022. U.S. Navy Photo

USS America (LHA-6) remains in its homeport in Sasebo, Japan

In the Adriatic Sea

Lt. Sarah Huston, assigned to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77), delivers remarks during a media availability aboard the ship, Nov. 7, 2022. US Navy Photo

The George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group remains on station in the Adriatic Sea.

Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG 2) is operating in the Mediterranean Sea. U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Scott Sciretta, who assumed command of the group on July 1, is embarked aboard Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman (DDG-98) as SNMG 2’s flagship.

Carrier Strike Group 10

Aviation Ordnanceman 2rd Class Kolton Pang, from Hilo, Hawaii, assigned to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77), moves supplies during a replenishment-at-sea with the supply-class fast combat support ship USNS Arctic (T-AOE-8) on Nov. 12, 2022. U.S. Navy Photo

Carrier
USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77), homeported in Norfolk, Va.

Carrier Air Wing 7

An F/A18F Super Hornet aircraft, attached to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 103, lands aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) Nov. 11, 2022. US Navy Photo

Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, based on Naval Air Station Oceana, Va., is embarked on Bush and includes:

  • The “Pukin’ Dogs” of VFA-143 Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) flying F/A-18Es from Naval Air Station Oceana, Va.
  • The “Jolly Rogers” of VFA-103 – F/A-18F – from Naval Air Station Oceana.
  • The “Sidewinders” of VFA-86 – F/A-18E – from Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif.
  • The “Knighthawks” of VFA-136 – F/A-18E – from Naval Air Station Lemoore.
  • The “Patriots” of VAQ-140 – EA-18G – Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) – from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash.
  • The “Bluetails” of VAW-121 – E-2D – Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) – from Naval Air Station Norfolk, Va.
  • The “Rawhides” of VRC-40 – Detachment – C-2A – Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) – from Naval Air Station Norfolk.
  • The “Nightdippers” of HSC-5 – MH-60S – Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) – from Naval Air Station Norfolk.
  • The “Grandmasters” of HSM-46 – MH-60R – Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) – from Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla.

Cruiser

Operations Specialist Seaman Mark Payoen, assigned to the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG-55), stands watch on the bridge on Nov. 12, 2022. US Navy Photo

USS Leyte Gulf (CG-55), homeported at Naval Station Norfolk, Va.

Destroyer Squadron 26

Seaman Recruit Akwasi Boakye, assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Farragut (DDG-99), carries the forecastle jack-staff, Nov. 11, 2022. US Navy Photo

Destroyer Squadron 26 is based in Norfolk and is embarked on the carrier. The following ships deployed with the strike group.

  • USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119), homeported at Naval Station Mayport, Fla.
  • USS Truxtun (DDG-103), homeported at Naval Station Norfolk.
  • USS Farragut (DDG-99), homeported at Naval Station Mayport.
  • USS Nitze (DDG-94), homeported at Naval Station Norfolk.

In Portsmouth, U.K.

A Royal Canadian Air Force crew member prepares a Royal Canadian Navy Cyclone Helicopter, attached to the Halifax-class frigate HMCS Montreal (FFH-336), for landing on USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) on Nov. 11, 2022. U.S. Navy Photo

According to ship spotters, the Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group (CSG) is at anchor in the Solent – the strait between England and the Isle of Wight – ahead of a port call in Portsmouth, U.K.

USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) left Naval Station Norfolk, Va,. on Oct. 4, 2022, and will operate throughout the Atlantic, exercise with allies and partners and operationally employ the carrier air wing for the first time.

Ford features 23 new technologies, including the Electro-Magnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS), the Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG), the Dual-Band Radar, Advanced Weapons Elevators (AWE) and the new A1B nuclear reactor design.

Carrier Strike Group 12



Carrier

USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), homeported at Naval Station Norfolk, Va.

Carrier Air Wing 8

A sailor assigned to the ‘Ragin’ Bulls’ of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 37, conducts a post-flight inspection on an F/A-18E Super Hornet on first-in-class aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford’s (CVN-78) flight deck on Nov. 12, 2022. US Navy Photo

Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8, based on Naval Air Station Oceana, Va., is embarked on Ford and includes nine squadrons and detachments:

  • The “Golden Warriors” of VFA-87 Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) flying F/A-18Es from Naval Air Station Oceana, Va.
  • The “Ragin’ Bulls” of VFA-37 – F/A-18E – from Naval Air Station Oceana.
  • The “Black Lions” of VFA-213 – F/A-18F – from Naval Air Station Oceana.
  • The “Tomcatters” of VFA-31 – F/A-18E – from Naval Air Station Oceana.
  • The “Gray Wolves” of VAQ-142 – EA-18G – Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) – from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash.
  • The “Bear Aces” of VAW-124 – E-2D – Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) – from Naval Air Station Norfolk, Va.
  • The “Rawhides” of VRC-40 – Detachment – C-2A – Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) – from Naval Air Station Norfolk.
  • The “Tridents” of HSC-9 – MH-60S – Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) – from Naval Air Station Norfolk.
  • The “Spartans” of HSM-70 – MH-60R – Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) – from Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla.

Cruiser

Fire Controlman 3rd Class Tyler Melton participates in a Tomahawk Land Attack Missile exercise on the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG-60) during the training exercise Silent Wolverine while underway as part of the Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group, Nov. 10, 2022. U.S. Navy Photo

USS Normandy (CG-60), homeported at Naval Station Norfolk.

Destroyer Squadron 2

USS McFaul (DDG-74) sails in Ponta Delgalda, Azores as part of the Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group, on Nov. 4, 2022. U.S. Navy Photo

Destroyer Squadron 26 is based in Norfolk and is embarked on the carrier. The following ships deployed with the strike group.

  • USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116), homeported at Naval Station Mayport, Fla.
  • USS Ramage (DDG-61), homeported at Naval Station Norfolk.
  • USS McFaul (DDG-74), homeported at Naval Station Mayport.
  • USCGC Hamilton (WMSL 753) homeported in North Charleston, SC.

The CSG also includes fleet logistics ships USNS Robert E. Peary (T-AKE-5) and USNS Joshua Humphreys (T-AO-188).

In the Middle Pacific 

USS Makin Island (LHD-8) departs for deployment on Nov. 9, 2022. US Navy Photo

Amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD-8), the flagship of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, left Naval Base San Diego on Wednesday for a deployment to the Indo-Pacific region. The Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit embarked includes Makin Island and amphibious transport docks USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) and USS Anchorage (LPD-23). Makin Island and John P. Murtha left San Diego on Wednesday, while Anchorage left on Tuesday, Nov. 8, reported USNI News.

The ARG/MEU includes the aviation combat element with the “Flying Leathernecks” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 122 flying F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters and the “Ugly Angels” of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 362 (Reinforced) flying MV-22B Ospreys; the logistics combat element made up of Combat Logistics Battalion 13; and the ground combat element with 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines.

In addition to these major formations, not shown are others serving in submarines, individual surface ships, aircraft squadrons, SEALs, Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Forces, Seabees, Coast Guard cutters, EOD Mobile Units and more serving throughout the globe.

Makin Island ARG, 13th MEU Quietly Deploy to Indo-Pacific

Amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD-8), the flagship of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, left Naval Base San Diego on Wednesday for a deployment to the Indo-Pacific region, USNI News has learned. The Amphibious Ready Group with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit embarked includes Makin Island and amphibious transport docks USS John P. […]

USS Makin Island (LHD-8) leaves San Diego Harbor on Nov. 9, 2022 for an Indo-Pacific deployment. Photo via San Diego Web Cam used with permission

Amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD-8), the flagship of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, left Naval Base San Diego on Wednesday for a deployment to the Indo-Pacific region, USNI News has learned.

The Amphibious Ready Group with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit embarked includes Makin Island and amphibious transport docks USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) and USS Anchorage (LPD-23). Makin Island and John P. Murtha left San Diego on Wednesday, while Anchorage left on Tuesday.

The ARG/MEU includes the aviation combat element with the “Flying Leathernecks” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 122 flying F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters and the “Ugly Angels” of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 362 (Reinforced) flying MV-22B Ospreys; the logistics combat element made up of Combat Logistics Battalion 13; and the ground combat element with 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines.

USNI News was aboard Makin Island this summer during its Amphibious Squadron Marine Expeditionary Unit Integration Training (PMINT) phase, when sailors and Marines first come together for at-sea training ahead of deployment. Leaders on the amphibious assault ship emphasized the crew’s focus on learning how to operate a full squadron of Marine Corps F-35Bs aboard Makin Island. 

Sailors and Marines aboard USS Anchorage (LPD-23) man the rails as the ship leaves San Diego harbor on Nov. 8, 2022. Photo via San Diego Web Cam used with permission

“This ship, with this MEU, with these aircraft, is an example of how we push naval integration forward and we’re literally writing the book right now, as you see cruiser-destroyer surface warfare officers that are executive officers of this ship, an aviator that is the [commanding officer] of this ship, an aviator that is the MEU commander – look at what our higher leaders want and then try to put two and two together and offer solutions. And that is the unique thing about this PMINT and this workup with these forces and with this ship,” Col. Samuel Meyer, the commanding officer of the 13th MEU, told USNI News at the time.

The West Coast-based MEU is expected to operate in the Indo-Pacific, the Navy’s operational focus over the last few years amid heightened tensions with China over Taiwan.

“We have certain ways that we’ll act while we’re at sea and the way we’ll prepare for that during PMINT potentially is [to] kind of take that into consideration. What are we seeing from China? And then we’ll prepare appropriately,” Capt. Tony Chavez, an aviator and the commanding officer of Makin Island, told USNI News when asked how the Pentagon’s emphasis on conflict with a near-peer threat has trickled into the training phase.

Preparing for Deployment

Marines with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 362 (Reinforced) operate a Light Marine Air Defense Integrated System during Defense of the Amphibious Task Force exercise aboard amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD-8) on July 13, 2022. US Marine Corps Photo

Officials described PMINT as the “crawl” phase of gearing up for deployment. ARG/MEU Exercise, the amphibious ship community’s version of the aircraft carrier’s Composite Unit Training Phase (COMPTUEX), follows the PMINT stage.

The initial at-sea training period allows sailors and Marines to evaluate the mix of equipment the ARG/MEU will take on deployment and integrate procedures for how the crew will operate those platforms together.

“How all that mix[es] and how everything fits, it’s almost like professional Jenga. And so you’re not only playing it with the equipment, you’re also playing it with the policies and procedures to ensure safety and to ensure that we are efficient and lethal as well,” Capt. Andria Slough, Makin Island’s executive officer, told USNI News.

For example, when planning for PMINT the Navy sent sailors to Yuma, Ariz., to learn how to handle the Marine Corps’ MV-22Bs.

During the PMINT phase, the crew also has more time to work with the platforms and equipment and refine procedures, since it’s not yet operating in deployment-like conditions.

“So if we didn’t like it, it’s like, okay do-over. Go back again. And we’ve done it with some of our V-22s, some of our F-35s,” Slough said. “Not that anything’s wrong, but [it’s] ‘hey we think we can do that a little bit better.’ And so we go back and do that.”

An MV-22 Osprey, assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 362, idles on the flight deck of amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD-8), Feb. 4, 2022. US Navy Photo

The PMINT phase also allows Marines to get a better understanding of life on a ship, like understanding how man overboard drills work and enforcing the requirement to make their beds.

“Obviously the Marines have been on land for a long time and what I’m seeing is that … only a very small portion of the MEU that’s onboard now has been out to sea any time. So obviously we’re relearning that integration piece, so it’s going to be key,” Chavez said.
“But the ability to make sure that we can put Marines ashore and be able to be effective at that and then to continuously support the power projection and sea control is going to be key for us. And that’s where I think the integration piece is going to be effective.”

That integration has been a focus for the Navy and Marine Corps as they prepare for conflict in the vast waters of the Indo-Pacific and adjust to Commandant Gen. David Berger’s push for a lighter Marine Corps focused on an island-hopping campaign to quickly threaten enemy ships and amphibious capabilities.

“With this ship, we are exploring how the Navy and the Marine Corps integrate today. So Force Design for the commandant, what does that look like, how do we posture to compete in an environment that’s different than we had before. So we’ve brought different capabilities on the ship,” Meyer told USNI News.

“We have more F-35Bs. We studied the connector mix, meaning you’ve seen [Landing Craft Air Cushions], landing craft, things like that, and work with the ship to say, ‘the ship’s not going to get any bigger, but we want to bring more and different things,'” he added. “So I rely on this relationship with this ship to say what is the optimized mix of things that will allow us to defend ourselves and integrate my systems with their systems. And as time changes and systems change, that’s how naval integration changes.”

F-35B

Marine F-35B Lighting II pilots with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 122, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, land aboard amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD-8) on Sept. 4, 2022. US Marine Corps

Makin Island is deploying with a full squadron of F-35Bs, or 10 aircraft. While it’s not the first amphibious assault ship to do so, the deployment will help the Navy and Marine Corps get a better sense of both the deck handling required for full squadron and how to operationally employ one.

“We are still working through what that looks like. So all the training, there’s evolutions in how we move things on and around the flight deck. And It’s an evolutionary capability, I won’t say revolutionary because the ship did deploy with some last time. But we’re looking to see what the right mix between F-35s and MV-22 looks like,” Meyer said.

To figure out how the ARG/MEU will employ the short take-off and vertical landing variant of the fifth-generation fighter, the crew worked with both Navy and Marine Corps warfare tactics instructors.

“We are really just working through what this looks like because there’s not a lot of documentation on how to fight a squadron of them,” Slough said. “And so we’re working all that out and then in addition, we’re working our flight deck sequencing out so we can deploy the maximum amount of those aircraft at one time for the threats that come up.”

With more aircraft aboard Makin Island for this deployment, the crew is wrestling with the ship’s deck density and learning how to effectively move aircraft around the flight deck.

“The challenge is you have limited space, obviously. So put more things onto the flight deck, that is inherently harder. You have less space to work with so the risk is higher. The risk of damaging aircraft … is higher,” Cmdr. Donald Emerson, Makin Island‘s air boss, told USNI News. “I would say, the manning that I have in the air department is built for a certain number of aircraft and we need more people. I mean, we’ve proved that we can do it. We can do it safely.”

Since the ship can’t launch MV-22Bs at the same time as F-35Bs, it has to be strategic when planning the launches.

“I think the big challenge is with less space, we’ve got aircraft living in the landing areas. So we have to move those aircraft when we need the spots,” Emerson said. “More aircraft equals more moves.”

ACV Certifications 

Marines assigned to the 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 1st Marine Division conduct waterborne training with Amphibious Combat Vehicles (ACV) aboard amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD-23) in the Pacific Ocean, on Feb. 13, 2022. US Navy Photo

Makin Island is the first big-deck amphibious warship to become certified for the Marine Corps’ new Amphibious Combat Vehicle.

During PMINT, the three ships in the ARG each earned certifications to operate the ACVs, which will replace the aging Assault Amphibious Vehicle. To prepare for ACV operations, the Navy sent two buses of sailors to Camp Pendleton, Calif., to learn how to operate the ACVs, Slough told USNI News in July.

Once the Marine Corps brought the ACV to Naval Base San Diego, sailors with the Makin Island ARG had the chance to get their hands on the platform to better understand how it works.

“Then they brought it to Makin Island while we were tied up at the pier. And we drove it around and we took measurements and made sure everything fit,” Slough said.

“And then after that we did a very very slow, very controlled practice in a very calm environment where we had Makin Island very close to sure and the ACVs came out under extra safety controls and extra supervision and did that. And then our last one, we still had the supervision, but we moved it away a little bit just to give us a little bit of room. And then we executed our certification.”

An ACV with 3d Assault Amphibian Battalion, 1st Marine Division onshore and USS Anchorage (LPD-23) and two Navy safety boats in the water. USNI News Photo

While each ship successfully completed the certifications, the Marine Corps in August delayed the first ACV deployment after a July incident in which two vehicles were knocked off their wheels in heavy surf near Camp Pendleton, Calif., USNI News first reported.

The 15th MEU, also based at Camp Pendleton, is now slated to execute the first ACV deployment, Marine Corps deputy commandant for combat development and integration Lt. Gen. Karsten Heckl told USNI News in September.

“Meanwhile, we will continue to pursue more testing, more data in higher surf zones with, I believe it’s medium surf index, so that we can have a [clearer] understanding of what sea states of six and up to eight would mean,” Heckl said.

West Coast ACV Overturns in Training, No Injuries Reported

The Marine Corps ordered a stop to waterborne operations in the surf zone for its fleet of Amphibious Combat Vehicles after an ACV overturned in the waters along Camp Pendleton, Calif., the service announced Friday evening. Under the halt, no ACV is permitted to launch from or land on an ocean beach. An ACV assigned […]

An ACV with 3d Assault Amphibian Battalion, 1st Marine Division onshore and USS Anchorage (LPD-23) and two Navy safety boats in the water. USNI News Photo

The Marine Corps ordered a stop to waterborne operations in the surf zone for its fleet of Amphibious Combat Vehicles after an ACV overturned in the waters along Camp Pendleton, Calif., the service announced Friday evening.

Under the halt, no ACV is permitted to launch from or land on an ocean beach.

An ACV assigned to Assault Amphibian School suffered “a reported mechanical malfunction” around 7:45 p.m. on Thursday, the Marine Corps said in a news release.

“Of the three crew members inside the vehicle, none sustained injuries or required medical attention,” according to the release. “The incident is currently under investigation.”

The Marine Corps suspension will last until more testing and data is collected and analyzed, according to the release. Amphibious Vehicle Testing Branch-sponsored surf operations are allowed.

Land-based operations are not affected, and the ACVs can still operate in protected waters and in the open ocean, Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Ryan Bruce told USNI News.

At Camp Pendleton that means the ACVs can launch into the water or swim ashore from the base’s boat basin, a protected harbor that has ramps and a sandy shore.

“Open-water operations are still good to go,” Bruce said.

Officials did not detail the mechanical issue that led to the vehicle overturning in the surf.

The surf in the region just south of the base was reported to be 2 to 3 feet. The ACV was reportedly still stuck in the sand Friday morning. It wasn’t clear whether crews had recovered and removed the vehicle from the training beach by late afternoon.

The suspension comes just three weeks after the service cleared its growing fleet of ACVs to resume open-water operations following a two-month pause after a pair of ACVs were disabled in the surf during a July 19 training event at Camp Pendleton involving 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion. Amid that investigation, the Marines also delayed the first operational deployment of the ACV, which was supposed to be part of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s overseas deployment with the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group.

That followed a months-long pause in waterborne operations after the fatal July 2020 sinking of an AAV during shore-to-ship training. Multiple investigations found serious failures in training, certifications, standard operating procedures, maintenance requirements and naval integration involving the AAV. It also raised similar concerns as both services prepared for the first ACV shipboard operational deployment.

“We’re taking a deliberate and methodical approach to fielding this platform,” Lt. Gen. David Furness, the deputy commandant for plans, policies and preparations, said in the release. “This adjustment to current guidance ensures our Marines have the ability to safely train and maintain proficiency with the platform while we work to conduct additional testing.”

The suspension of surf-zone transiting is the latest disruption to waterborne training for the Marine Corps’ AAV/ACV community.

The ACV, built by BAE Systems, is replacing the Marine Corps’ aging fleet of tracked Assault Amphibious Vehicles. The wheeled ACVs have been undergoing a series of testing and operations with the 1st Marine Division and I Marine Expeditionary Force in California, including water and well-deck operations with Navy amphibious ships this year.

USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker: Sept. 26, 2022

These are the approximate positions of the U.S. Navy’s deployed carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups throughout the world as of Sept. 26, 2022, based on Navy and public data. In cases where a CSG or ARG is conducting disaggregated operations, the chart reflects the location of the capital ship. Ships Underway Total Battle […]

USNI News Graphic

These are the approximate positions of the U.S. Navy’s deployed carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups throughout the world as of Sept. 26, 2022, based on Navy and public data. In cases where a CSG or ARG is conducting disaggregated operations, the chart reflects the location of the capital ship.

Ships Underway

Total Battle Force Deployed Underway
300*
(USS 242, USNS 58)
*as of Sept. 21, 2022 per NVR
105
(USS 69, USNS 36)
 82
(60 Deployed, 22 Local)

Ships Deployed by Fleet

2nd Fleet 3rd Fleet 4th Fleet 5th Fleet 6th Fleet 7th Fleet Total
5 1 3 11 29 58 107

In the East China Sea

Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy Sailors wave ROK and U.S. flags during a port visit of USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) in Busan, Republic of Korea, Sept. 23, 2022. US Navy Photo

Carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), along with USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) and USS Barry (DDG 52), departed Busan, the Republic of Korea Monday morning local time after the Reagan made the first carrier port call to the country in nearly four years.

Aircraft carrier


Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), homeported in Yokosuka, Japan.

Carrier Air Wing 5

An MH-60S Knight Hawk, attached to the Golden Falcons of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 12, flies over the flight deck of USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), in the Philippine Sea on Sept. 22, 2022. US Navy Photo

Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, based at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, is embarked aboard Ronald Reagan and includes a total of nine squadrons and detachments:

  • The “Royal Maces” of VFA-27 – Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) – from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan.
  • The “Diamondbacks” of VFA-102 from MCAS Iwakuni.
  • The “Eagles” of VFA-115 from MCAS Iwakuni.
  • The “Dambusters” of VFA-195 from MCAS Iwakuni.
  • The “Shadowhawks” of VAQ-141 – Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) – from MCAS Iwakuni.
  • The “Tiger Tails” of VAW-125 – Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) – from MCAS Iwakuni.
  • The “Providers” of VRC-30 – Detachment 5 – Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) – from MCAS Iwakuni.
  • The “Golden Falcons” of HSC-12 – Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) – from Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan.
  • The “Saberhawks” of HSM-77 – Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) – from Naval Air Facility Atsugi.

Cruisers

Capt. Edward Angelinas and a South Korean Harbor Pilot oversee Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG-62) pulling into Busan, Republic of Korea Navy Port on Sept. 23, 2022. US Navy Photo

 

 

  • USS Chancellorsville (CG-62), homeported in Yokosuka, Japan.

Destroyer Squadron 15

Operations Specialist 3rd Class Stewart Sanchez-Zamora, from Lagrange, Georgia, Operations Specialist 1st Class Rasha Urtecho, from Roseburg, Oregon and Operations Specialist 3rd Class Savannah Valdez, from San Diego monitor surface contacts from the pilothouse aboard Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG-65) as the ship prepares to pull into Chinhae, Republic of Korea, Sept. 23, 2022. US Navy Photo

Destroyer Squadron 15 is based in Yokosuka, Japan, and is embarked on the carrier. Destroyers from Destroyer Squadron 15 are also assigned to the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group.

  • USS Benfold (DDG-65), homeported in Yokosuka.
  • USS Barry (DDG-52), homeported in Yokosuka.

In Japan

USS America (LHA 6) sails toward the amphibious assault carrier USS Tripoli (LHA-7) during a formation steaming exercise while sailing in the East China Sea, on Sept. 17, 2022. US Navy Photo

Amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA-6) is in Sasebo, Japan.

In the South China Sea

Marine Cpl. Julian Larsen, a scout sniper with Battalion Landing Team 2/5, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, fires at a target during a night aerial live fire exercise in the Philippine Sea, Sept. 24, 2022. US Marine Corps Photo

Amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli (LHA-7) and embarked elements of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) are underway in the South China Sea.

Tripoli departed Naval Station San Diego, Calif., for an independent deployment to the Western Pacific on May 2.

Prior to embarking the 31st MEU, Tripoli had been operating under the “lightning carrier” concept, in which it had more than a dozen F-35Bs aboard during its Pacific deployment. The ship is underway with Marine MV-22B Ospreys and CH-53E Super Stallions for the remainder of its Indo-Pacific deployment.

Sailors assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 23 conduct a search and rescue swimmer training from USS Tripoli (LHA-7)on Sept. 22, 2022. US Navy Photo

 

Tripoli took part in the June Valiant Shield exercise but has transitioned to an amphibious ready force with the Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 262 (Reinforced) embarked. Since it began its deployment in May, Tripoli has also had a detachment of MH-60S Knight Hawks embarked from the “Wildcards” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 23.

In the Ionian Sea

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Enzo Gandolfo, assigned to the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77), gives a brief for a flight deck fire drill, Sep. 21, 2022. US Navy Photo

The George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group (CSG) remains on station in the Ionian Sea. The CSG left Norfolk, Va., on Aug. 10 and took over duties in U.S. 6th Fleet from the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group on Aug 28. U.S. 6th Fleet commander Vice Adm. Thomas Ishee visited USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) and the staffs of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 10 while the strike group was underway in the Adriatic Sea on Sept. 22. Ishee took command of 6th Fleet on Sept. 15.

Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG 2) is also operating in the Mediterranean Sea. U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Scott Sciretta, who assumed command of the formation on July 1, is embarked aboard Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman (DDG-98) as SNMG 2’s flagship. SNMG-2 ships are participating in NATO Exercise Dynamic Mariner through Sept. 22. Participating assets include five submarines, 50 surface vessels and five aircraft from 12 nations.

Carrier Strike Group 10

Vice Adm. Thomas Ishee, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet Operation Specialist 1st Class Spencer Bryant Sailors during a visit to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) on Sept. 22, 2022. US Navy Photo

Carrier
USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77), homeported in Norfolk, Va.

Carrier Air Wing 7

Sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) participate in a flight deck fire drill on Sep. 21, 2022. US Navy Photo

Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, based on Naval Air Station Oceana, Va., is embarked on Bush and includes:

  • The “Pukin’ Dogs” of VFA-143 Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) flying F/A-18Es from Naval Air Station Oceana, Va.
  • The “Jolly Rogers” of VFA-103 – F/A-18F – from Naval Air Station Oceana.
  • The “Sidewinders” of VFA-86 – F/A-18E – from Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif.
  • The “Knighthawks” of VFA-136 – F/A-18E – from Naval Air Station Lemoore.
  • The “Patriots” of VAQ-140 – EA-18G – Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) – from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash.
  • The “Bluetails” of VAW-121 – E-2D – Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) – from Naval Air Station Norfolk, Va.
  • The “Rawhides” of VRC-40 – Detachment – C-2A – Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) – from Naval Air Station Norfolk.
  • The “Nightdippers” of HSC-5 – MH-60S – Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) – from Naval Air Station Norfolk.
  • The “Grandmasters” of HSM-46 – MH-60R – Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) – from Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla.

Cruiser

Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Kayla Morris, assigned to the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG-55), signals to the fast combat support ship USNS Arctic (T-AOE-8) during a replenishment-at-sea on Sept. 20, 2022. US Navy Photo

USS Leyte Gulf (CG-55), homeported at Naval Station Norfolk, Va.

Destroyer Squadron 26

Seaman Kevin Castillo, assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Truxtun (DDG-103), maintains the king’s post, on Sept. 20, 2022. US Navy Photo

Destroyer Squadron 26 is based in Norfolk and is embarked on the carrier. The following ships deployed with the strike group.

  • USS Delbert D. Black (DDG-119), homeported at Naval Station Mayport, Fla.
  • USS Truxtun (DDG-103), homeported at Naval Station Norfolk.
  • USS Farragut (DDG-99), homeported at Naval Station Mayport.
  • USS Nitze (DDG-94), homeported at Naval Station Norfolk.

In the English Channel

A Marine AV-8B Harrier sits on the flight deck aboard the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD-3) as the ship approaches the Great Belt Bridge in the Danish Straits Sept. 22, 2022. US Navy Photo

The Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) have departed the Baltic Sea and are in the English Channel. The ARG includes USS Kearsarge (LHD-3), USS Arlington (LPD-24) and USS Gunston Hall (LSD-44). Kearsarge and Gunston Hall completed port calls in Gdynia and Gdansk, respectively, last week.

The 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit is based in North Carolina and includes the command element; the aviation combat element, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron, 263 (Reinforced); the ground combat element, Battalion Landing Team 2/6; and the logistics combat element, Combat Logistics Battalion 26.

Boatswain’s 2nd Class Nelson Jiminian, right, and Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Cynthia Fowlerorozco, both assigned to the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD-3), stand watch as the ship transits the Danish Straits, Sept. 21, 2022. US Navy Photo

 

The Kearsarge ARG is commanded by Amphibious Squadron Six. Other Navy units in the ARG include Fleet Surgical Team 2, Tactical Air Control Squadron 22, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 28, Assault Craft Unit 2, Assault Craft Unit 4, Naval Beach Group 2 and Beach Master Unit 2.

In the Western Atlantic

The shadow of an MH-60S Knight Hawk attached to the ‘Tridents’ of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 9 casts shadow on the island of USS Gerald R. Ford’s (CVN 78) during an ammunition onload on Sept. 25, 2022. US Navy Photo

USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) is underway in the Virginia Capes Operating Areas after leaving Norfolk, Va., on Sept. 16 ahead of an extended training cruise.

In the Eastern Pacific

USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) sails in formation during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022, July 28, 2022. US Navy Photo

USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) is underway in the Southern California Operating Areas.

In addition to these major formations, not shown are others serving in submarines, individual surface ships, aircraft squadrons, SEALs, Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Forces, Seabees, Coast Guard cutters, EOD Mobile Units and more serving throughout the globe.