The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt and its supersonic F-18 jets, surveillance planes and helicopters, along with Carrier Air Wing 17 and guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), are in the country for a scheduled port visit.
TRCSG consists of the staff of Destroyer Squadron 23 and the squadrons of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17, which includes Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 113, VFA-94, VFA-22, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 312, Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 139, Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 116, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 6, Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 73 and Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30.
“We are excited to visit the Philippines and spend time in this part of the Indo-Pacific,” said Rear Adm. Steve Koehler, commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 9.
“The Philippines has long been a part of U.S. Navy history, and we look forward to continuing that valued relationship and partnership,” he added.
But before its visit, the USS Theodore Roosevelt’s conduct presence in the South China Sea, days after China’s massive air and naval drills in the area, in what some analysts described as an unusually large display of Beijing’s growing naval might.
During the drill, the strike group conduct 20 F-18 fighter jets took off and landed in just 20 minutes, in a powerful display of military accuracy and effectiveness.
“Many Theodore Roosevelt Sailors and Marines have strong ties to the Philippines,” said Capt. Carlos Sardiello, Theodore Roosevelt’s commanding officer. “There are several Rough Riders who are from the Philippines or who have family in the country. We are excited for them to be able to share their culture with fellow shipmates and spend time with loved ones there.”
The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG) will continue on their regularly scheduled Western Pacific deployment after departing Manila, conducting a variety of operations, including addressing shared maritime security concerns, building relationships with partner navies and enhancing interoperability and communication with partners and allies throughout the area of operations through exercises and ship visits.
The TRCSG returned to the 7th Fleet area of operations after completing more than four months in the Arabian Gulf and U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations supporting maritime security, theater security cooperation, and Operations Inherent Resolve and Freedom’s Sentinel.