Feb. 9 (UPI) -- The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group conducted dual carrier operations with the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group in the South China Sea Tuesday.
According to the Navy, the ships and aircraft of the two strike groups "conducted a multitude of exercises" aimed at increasing interoperability between assets.
"Training with Carrier Strike Group Eleven in the South China Sea is a tremendously valuable opportunity," Rear Adm. Doug Verissimo, commander, Carrier Strike Group Nine, said. "Through operations like this, we ensure that we are tactically proficient to meet the challenge of maintaining peace and we are able to continue to show our partners and allies in the region that we are committed to promoting a Free and Open Indo-Pacific."
Carrier Strike Group Nine and Carrier Strike Group 11 last conducted dual carrier operations in June in the Philippine Sea, and in July, the Ronald Reagan and Nimitz carrier strike groups operated together in the South China Sea.
"Working cooperatively alongside Carrier Strike Group Nine improves our collective tactical skill while ensuring regional stability and security," said Rear Adm. Jim Kirk, commander, CSG 11. "We are committed to ensuring the lawful use of the sea that all nations enjoy under international law."
Dual carrier operations are intended to "maintain U.S. readiness and combat-credible forces to reassure allies and partners and preserve peace in the region," the Navy said.
The Navy announced the operation amid increased tensions with China, including tension over U.S. presence in the South China Sea, which is a diplomatic flashpoint for several countries.