Stand aside! I’m Coming through at 31 Knots!

WTIs aboard USS Bunker Hill

PACIFIC OCEAN (May 7, 2017) Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102) steams along San Celemente Island during a Mark 45 5-inch gun fire exercise while conducting a group sail training unit exercise. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ignacio D. Perez/Released)

How the Arleigh Burke class destroyers got their name

Arleigh Burke class destroyers are named in honor of Admiral Arleigh “31 knot” Burke. In 1991 with Admiral Burke himself present at age 90, the USS Arleigh Burke, the first ship of the class, was launched.

Burke earned his nickname, given by Admiral William F. Halsey, from the following radio message broadcast to US troop transports who were in danger of being intercepted by Japanese warships in World War Two in the New Guinea campaign.

“Stand aside! Stand aside! I’m coming through at 31 knots,”

radioed Mr. Burke, then a Captain, radioed darkened American troop transports as his squadron, named Little Beavers for a comic strip character, steamed up the slot at boiler bursting speed to attack a Japanese task force off Bougainville on the night of Nov. 1, 1943.

In a widely heralded action, the squadron covered the landing of thousands of American troops while attacking enemy vessels and aircraft. When the battle of Empress Augusta Bay ended the next day, the Japanese toil was horrendous. A cruiser and four destroyers lay on the bottom, and two cruisers and a pair of destroyers had limped away heavily damaged.

Later that month, the squadron engaged another Japanese task force off Cape St. George, New Ireland, and sank three destroyers without taking a hit. In 22 engagements from November 1943 to February 1944, the Navy said, Captain Burke’s squadron was credited with sinking one cruiser, nine destroyers, one submarine and nine smaller ships, as well as downing approximately 30 aircraft.

Burke became famous for his daring exploits as Commander of Destroyer Squadron 23 in the Pacific in 1943 and 1944. After the war he went all the way up the ladder. In 1955 he was named Chief of Naval Operations by President Eisenhower.”

[lines in quotes from Burke’s obituary in the New York Times in 1996]

The post has a tenure of two years and he served six years for a total of 3 terms. President Kennedy asked him to serve a 4th term as CNO but he felt he should retire to make way for others.

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BLACK SEA (May 14, 2017) The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79) and the Bulgarian navy frigate Drazki 41 maneuver during a passing exercise.  (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Sean Spratt/Released)

Sterett-Dewey Surface Action Group Deployment

no doubt Admiral Burke would raise an eyebrow at this

REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE (May 16, 2017) The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer JS Sazanami (DD 113), left, and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett (DDG 104) are moored together at the International Maritime Defense Exhibition 2017 (IMDEX-17). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Byron C. Linder/Released)

 

800px-Admiral_Mitscher_and_Arliegh_Burke

Admiral Mitscher and his chief of staff Arleigh Burke arrive on board Enterprise after flagship Bunker Hill was badly damaged from two kamikaze attacks. The attacks set the ship’s island afire, and killed or wounded a number of Mitscher’s senior staff. Among the dead was Dr. Ray Hege, the physician Admiral Nimitz had assigned to watch over the frail health of Admiral Mitscher. (US Navy photo & caption)

 

 

 

 

 

 

US Navy on patrol in the Pacific

While many things in Washington DC are in a state of confusion, it is good to know that our US Navy is on patrol in the Pacific Ocean where the US and its allies have critical economic and political interests.

 

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PACIFIC OCEAN (May 16, 2017) An F/A-18C Hornet assigned to the “Blue Blasters” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 34 prepares to make an arrested landing aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) western Pacific. The U.S. Navy has patrolled the Indo-Asia-Pacific routinely for more than 70 years promoting regional peace and security. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Matthew Granito/Released)

 

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PACIFIC OCEAN (May 12, 2017) An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter from the Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 4 “Black Knights” prepares to land on the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) in the western Pacific Ocean.  (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Matthew Granito/Released)

 

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PACIFIC OCEAN (May 11, 2017) The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) participates in a strait transit simulation. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Paul L. Archer/Released)

 

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PACIFIC OCEAN (May 11, 2017) Ships from the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier strike Group participate in a simulated strait transit. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Paul L. Archer/Released)

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PACIFIC OCEAN (May 16, 2017) Sailors conduct flight operations aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) in the western Pacific. The U.S. Navy has patrolled the Indo-Asia-Pacific routinely for more than 70 years promoting regional peace and security. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Rebecca Sunderland/Released)

 

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WATERS SOUTH OF JAPAN (May 18, 2017) Sailors assigned to the “Saberhawks” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 77 inspect an MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). The ship is the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 5, providing a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interests of its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jamal McNeill/Released)

 

Sterett-Dewey Surface Action Group DeploymentSOUTH CHINA SEA (May 15, 2017) Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson is welcomed aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett (DDG 104) by Sterett’s commanding officer, Cmdr. Claudine Caluori, during Sterett’s anchorage off the coast of Singapore. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Byron C. Linder/Released)

 

 

 

Aircraft Carrier HMS Victorious at War

THE ROYAL NAVY DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR (A 7657) More torpedoes for the enemy being wheeled to their aircraft on board HMS VICTORIOUS whilst she was in the North Atlantic or off the coast of Norway where she was taking part in an offensive against enemy shipping and helping to cover a Russian convoy. Two Fairey Barracudas can be seen in the background. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205185601

Comments Charles McCain: “the Fairey Barracuda was a fighter/bomber and/or torpedo bomber used by the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy. This aircraft was slow, underpowered and never an operational success. Its performance with the British Pacific Fleet can charitably be described as a disaster. All were immediately replaced aboard Royal Navy fleet carriers with Grumman Avengers.”

 

US Navy Grumman Avengers in official photo taken at U.S. Navy Naval Air Station Jacksonville

 

 

FLYING EXERCISES FROM HMS VICTORIOUS. 14 TO 16 MARCH 1942, ON BOARD HMS VICTORIOUS AT SCAPA FLOW AND AT SEA OFF HOY. (A 7979) Lieut Cdr Sir George Lewis-Bart, RNVR, Officer Commanding 781 Squadron, pays a flying visit to HMS VICTORIOUS. He is seen looking up at the camera from on the nose of a Supermarine Walrus Amphibious aircraft as it comes alongside HMS VICTORIOUS. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205141968

Comments Charles McCain: “The Supermarine Walrus was designed and built by the same company which designed and produced the iconic Spitfire also known as the Supermarine Spitfire. As you might imagine from the name, the Supermarine company originally specialized in manufacturing amphibious planes until the specs for a fast and maneuverable fighter were issued by the British Air Ministry in the mid-30s. A special design group at Supermarine led by Reginald Mitchell took over and the rest is history. Mitchell died of cancer before the famous Spitfire ever took wing.

 

THE ROYAL NAVY DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR (A 7973) A Fairey Albacore torpedo-bomber of No 820 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm, taking off from the flight deck of HMS VICTORIOUS as the ship lies at anchor in Scapa Flow. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205119480

 

FLYING EXERCISES FROM HMS VICTORIOUS. 14 TO 16 MARCH 1942, ON BOARD HMS VICTORIOUS AT SCAPA FLOW AND AT SEA OFF HOY. (A 7976) Fairey Fulmars being warmed on the flight deck prior to take off for flying exercises. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205141966

ON BOARD THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER HMS VICTORIOUS SAFEGUARDING THE CONVOY LANES TO RUSSIA. 24 TO 27 MARCH 1942, ON BOARD HMS VICTORIOUS IN WINTRY SEAS. (A 8139) Dressed up for the cold weather, one of the Director Turrets crew of HMS VICTORIOUS on duty. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205142123

 

 

 

Ruthless, Unforgiving, Unknowable: Admiral Sir Philip Vian pt 2

“The Mad Admiral”

as he was referred to by one of his admiring superiors, Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham, C-in-C British Mediterranean Fleet (1939 to 1942).

vian-charcoal-sketch-may-1944
Rear Admiral Sir T. Phillip Vian, R.N. – Dwight C. Shepler #139 Charcoal, May 1944
In July 1941, the British Admiralty gave Vian, then age 47,  a “pier-head jump” and promoted him to Rear Admiral.  This early promotion was ordered by the First Sea Lord , Sir Dudley Pound. After some stumbles early in his career Vian was clearly marked as a man destined for higher command.
In 1916 Vian was a Sub-Lieutenant in the Royal Navy (Ensign in the US Navy). Promoted to Lieutenant in 1917, Lt. Commander in 1924, Commander in 1929, Captain in 1934, Rear Admiral 1941, Vice Admiral 1945, Admiral 1948, Admiral of the Fleet 1952.
Vian, hero of a series of British naval actions in Norway and the Med (all of which he commanded at sea from his flagship) went on to command the British fleet supporting British and Canadian troops in their assault on D-Day. Subsequently he was posted to the British Pacific Fleet as Flag Officer Commanding 1st aircraft carrier squadron–which comprised most of the British Pacific Fleet).
vian-tropical-dress
Few photographs of Vian smiling seem to exist. Probably because he didn’t smile a lot. The photo above from is from December 1944 and shows the “always well dressed” Rear Admiral Sir Philip Vian, KBE, DSO, RN, Commanding Officer, 1st Aircraft Carrier Squadron, British Pacific Fleet. Vian was a stickler for men being properly dressed. He felt that an officer should always be well turned out when on duty and gave men hell if they weren’t. (Royal Australian Navy Historical Collection). 

While largely unknowable, and now almost unknown, Admiral Philip Vian commanded more Royal Navy task forces, fleets, and units at sea in World War Two than any other British admiral. He did this in spite of constant ill-health, probably brought on by the intense stress of his responsibilities and his long periods at sea under constant air and surface attack. This clearly wore him down and how could it not?  Except on one occasion, his illnesses were never crippling, just nagging, but not feeling well in a stressful situation is stressful itself.

 

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Royal Navy Tribal-class destroyer HMS Afridi (F07), as completed, 1938. Although far less famous than HMS Cossack, this ship was actually built as the Flotilla leader’s ship. She was sunk by Stukas off Norway on 3 May 1940. Vian was aboard as captain and flotilla commander. This was the first ship he had sunk out from under him.

 

Not well-liked outside of his small circle of intimates, whom he compliments with great generosity in his memoirs, the officers and ratings on the warships in his flotillas, fleets, and task forces were always pleased to be under his command. This wasn’t because Vian was likable. In fact, he never was and his coteries of officers whom he took with him from ship to ship more respected than liked him.

Officers and rating who fought under him respected him because they were keenly aware that Vian knew what he was doing, was thoughtfully, never foolishly aggressive, and thought through all the various probabilities and courses of action long before an engagement occurred. He never appeared rattled or shaken even when his various ships were sunk and he had to swim for it.

In spite of his prominence, no one has written a biography of Vian and while he wrote his memoirs, the book doesn’t capture much of who he was.

 

Swordfish Bi-Plane Only Entered Operational Service 1936

HMS_Activity

Escort carrier HMS Activity in Firth of Forth 1942

Like a number of escort carriers, HMS Activity was a merchant ship converted to an aircraft carrier. After the war, the landing deck was removed and the ship returned to merchant service.

 

Swordfish were usually embarked aboard escort carriers on North Atlantic convoy duty. They made excellent U-Boat hunters once the proper type of radar was installed.

 

While originally built as a prototype for the Greek Navy, they turned it down in the mid-30s and Fairey Brothers Aircraft offered it the Royal Navy primarily for for use on aircraft carriers. After design changes the plane went into production as the famous Royal Navy Swordfish which served multiple rolls: patrol and reconnaissance, torpedo bomber, tactical bomber to support infantry and U-boat hunter/killer. The plane was oddly effective in all of these roles and was used operationally for the entire war.

RAFCC1939-1945 IWMCL2277

Armourers unload 250-lb GP bombs in front of a line of Fairey Swordfish Mark IIIs of No. 119 Squadron RAF, undergoing maintenance at B83/Knokke le Zoute, Belgium. The Squadron flew anti-shipping patrols, principally against German midget-submarines, in the North Sea and off the Dutch coast. Photo CL 2277 IWM. Taken by Flt. Lt. B.J. Daventry, Royal Air Force Official Photographer. Photo in the public domain).

 

IWM 4090 Swordfish_on_HMS_Victorious_before_strike_on_Bismarck

Swordfish torpedo bombers on the after deck of HMS Victorious before the attack on the Bismarck. Date 24 May 1941. 
This is photograph A 4090 from the collections of the Imperial War Museums now in the public domain.

 

A_Fairey_Swordfish_being_hoisted_aboard_HMS_MALAYA,_October_1941._A5694

 

October 1941. After a reconnaissance flight, a Fairey Swordfish sea plane returns to HMS Malaya and is hoisted in board. The Swordfish was used as a “shot-spotter” by many RN battleships and cruisers. By reporting the fall of shot to the ship via radio, the theory was the gunnery officers could adjust their aim for better accuracy. This never seemed to work very well.

HMS Malaya was a Queen Elizabeth-class battleship launched in March 1915. She was named in honour of the Federated Malay States in British Malaya, whose government paid for her construction.

Unfortunately when World War Two came, HMS Malaya had not been modernized. While rated at 25 knots the ship’s worn out engines could barely make 20 knots. The ship’s deck armour was too thin to withstand dive bomber attacks. Amenities for officers and crew were primitive. The ship’s ventilation system was particularly bad. Serving in her in tropical climates was hell.

However, her eight fifteen inch guns still packed a punch. Like many older battleships she escorted troop convoys since all troop convoys were required to have at least one battleship in their escort.

 

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RAF and Royal Navy ground crew refuel a Fairey Swordfish Mark III of No. 119 Squadron RAF Detachment at B65/Maldeghem, Begium.

photo CL 1638 from the IWM. Clark N S (Flt Lt), Royal Air Force official photographer .

 

sfrockets

JUNE 1944, ROYAL NAVAL AIR STATION, ST MERRYN, PADSTOW. THE FIRING OF ROCKET PROJECTILES FROM FAIREY SWORDFISH AIRCRAFT OF THE RAF. THE FAIREY SWORDFISH IS PRACTICE FIRING AT A ROCK TARGET. (Imperial War Museum”

In addition to use by the Royal Navy, the Swordfish was used extensively by RAF Coastal Command to hunt submarines which the plane did quite effectively once equipped with proper radar and bombs. By mid-1944, the aircraft was also equipped with air-to-surface missiles to use against Uboats.

Series of photos taken from a Swordfish during landing on escort carrier HMS Activity.

All photos and captions courtesy of Imperial War Museum and all photos in the public domain.

IWM Swordfish photo 4090

circles HMS Activity in the distance

Swordfish approachng HMS Activity IWM

A Fairey Swordfish circles the escort carrier it is about to land on and comes astern of HMS Activity. Note the nose of the Fairey Swordfish is held well up.

swordfish about to land HMS Activity

20 yards to go, the Fairey Swordfish is hanging on its propeller and moving at not more than 60 knots. Note the “Bats” Officer on the carrier’s deck. He makes the signal to the pilot “Carry on as you are”.

Swordfish cut engine HMS Activity

The Batsman gives the signal to the pilot to cut his engine. It is essential that the order is immediately carried out, for the Fairey Swordfish is now only a foot or two off the deck and the hook is about to catch on one of the arrester wires.

Fairey Swordfish at Barrier IWM

A second photographer got a picture of the Fairey Swordfish the moment she landed. Note that the crash-barrier is up in the foreground, in case the arrester hook on the aircraft fails to pick up one of the wires.

fairey swrodfish at barrier 2 IWM

Second photo from different angle. Picture of the Fairey Swordfish the moment she landed. 

Fairey Swordfish landing 6

The Fairey Swordfish has crossed the round-down, and the arrester wires are seen just ahead. The control officer has just given the signal for the pilot to come lower. The men in the side nets are the handling crew who will seize the Fairey Swordfish the moment she lands.

US Naval Air Fighting Japan

 

 

 

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“Pilots pleased over their victory during the Marshall Islands attack, grin across the tail of an F6F Hellcat on board the USS LEXINGTON, after shooting down 17 out of 20 Japanese planes heading for Tarawa.” Comdr. Edward Steichen, November 1943. 80-G-470985. National Archives Identifier: 520896

 

USS Yorktown

“Dynamic static. The motion of its props causes an `aura’ to form around this F6F on USS YORKTOWN. Rotating with blades, halo moves aft, giving depth and perspective.” November 1943. 80-G-204747A. National Archives Identifier: 520641

 

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“Pilots aboard a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier receive last minute instructions before taking off to attack industrial, and military installations in Tokyo.” February 17, 1945. 208-N-38374. National Archives Identifier: 535789

US Aircraft Carriers

151129-N-QD363-840  ATLANTIC OCEAN (Nov. 29, 2015) The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) approaches the Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Kanawha (T-AO 196) during a replenishment at sea. Dwight D. Eisenhower, with embarked Carrier Air Wing 3, is underway conducting the Tailored Ship's Training Availability (TSTA) and Final Evaluation Problem (FEP) as part of the basic phase of the Optimized Fleet Response Plan. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jameson E. Lynch/Released)

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Nov. 29, 2015) The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) approaches the Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Kanawha (T-AO 196) during a replenishment at sea. Dwight D. Eisenhower, with embarked Carrier Air Wing 3, is underway conducting the Tailored Ship’s Training Availability (TSTA) and Final Evaluation Problem (FEP) as part of the basic phase of the Optimized Fleet Response Plan. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jameson E. Lynch/Released)

 

151203-N-NX690-639  MEDITERRANEAN Sea (Dec. 3, 2015) An F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to the Pukin’ Dogs of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 143 begins a supersonic flyby over the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

MEDITERRANEAN Sea (Dec. 3, 2015) An F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to the Pukin’ Dogs of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 143 begins a supersonic flyby over the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

 

151129-N-QD363-561 ATLANTIC OCEAN (Nov. 29, 2015) An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to the Dusty Dogs of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 7 delivers cargo to the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) during a replenishment at sea with the Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Kanawha (T-AO 196). Dwight D. Eisenhower, with embarked Carrier Air Wing 3, is underway conducting the Tailored Ship's Training Availability (TSTA) and Final Evaluation Problem (FEP) as part of the basic phase of the Optimized Fleet Response Plan. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jameson E. Lynch/Released)

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Nov. 29, 2015) An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to the Dusty Dogs of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 7 delivers cargo to the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) during a replenishment at sea with the Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Kanawha (T-AO 196). Dwight D. Eisenhower, with embarked Carrier Air Wing 3, is underway conducting the Tailored Ship’s Training Availability (TSTA) and Final Evaluation Problem (FEP) as part of the basic phase of the Optimized Fleet Response Plan. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jameson E. Lynch/Released)

 

151127-N-KK394-129 ATLANTIC OCEAN (Nov. 27, 2015) An F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to the Fighting Swordsmen of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 32 makes an arrested landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). Dwight D. Eisenhower, with embarked Carrier Air Wing 3, is underway conducting the Tailored Ship's Training Availability (TSTA) and Final Evaluation Problem (FEP) as part of the basic phase of the Optimized Fleet Response Plan. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Anderson W. Branch/Released)

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Nov. 27, 2015) An F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to the Fighting Swordsmen of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 32 makes an arrested landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). Dwight D. Eisenhower, with embarked Carrier Air Wing 3, is underway conducting the Tailored Ship’s Training Availability (TSTA) and Final Evaluation Problem (FEP) as part of the basic phase of the Optimized Fleet Response Plan. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Anderson W. Branch/Released)

 

151123-N-OI810-217  WATERS SOUTH OF JAPAN (Nov. 23, 2015) The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group (CSG) is underway in formation with Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ships for a photo exercise during Annual Exercise 16. The Ronald Reagan CSG is participating in Annual Exercise 16 to increase interoperability between Japanese and American forces through training in air and sea operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nathan Burke/Released)

WATERS SOUTH OF JAPAN (Nov. 23, 2015) The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group (CSG) is underway in formation with Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ships for a photo exercise during Annual Exercise 16. The Ronald Reagan CSG is participating in Annual Exercise 16 to increase interoperability between Japanese and American forces through training in air and sea operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nathan Burke/Released)

 

151121-N-NV908-133 PACIFIC OCEAN (Nov. 21, 2015) – An F/A-18C Hornet, assigned to the Thunderbolts of Marine Strike Fighter Squadron (VMFA) 251, launches off the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). The Thunderbolts, along with all Carrier Air Wing One aircraft, are on their way home after completing an eight-month deployment as part of the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group. Theodore Roosevelt is operating in the U.S. 3rd Fleet area of operations as part of a worldwide deployment en route to its new homeport in San Diego to complete a three-carrier homeport shift. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Chad M. Trudeau/Released)

PACIFIC OCEAN (Nov. 21, 2015) – An F/A-18C Hornet, assigned to the Thunderbolts of Marine Strike Fighter Squadron (VMFA) 251, launches off the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). The Thunderbolts, along with all Carrier Air Wing One aircraft, are on their way home after completing an eight-month deployment as part of the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group. Theodore Roosevelt is operating in the U.S. 3rd Fleet area of operations as part of a worldwide deployment en route to its new homeport in San Diego to complete a three-carrier homeport shift. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Chad M. Trudeau/Released)

 

151119-N-ZZ999-100  WATERS SOUTH OF JAPAN (Nov. 19, 2015) Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) transits during Annual Exercise (AE) 16. Ronald Reagan is participating in AE16 to increase interoperability between Japanese and American forces through training in air and sea. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

WATERS SOUTH OF JAPAN (Nov. 19, 2015) Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) transits during Annual Exercise (AE) 16. Ronald Reagan is participating in AE16 to increase interoperability between Japanese and American forces through training in air and sea. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

 

151111-N-KM939-021 PACIFIC OCEAN (Nov. 11, 2015) - USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) travels behind the guided-missile destroyer USS Stockdale (DDG 106) during a Missile Exercise (MSLEX). Sailors from the John C. Stennis Strike Group are participating in a sustainment training exercise (SUSTEX) to prepare for future deployments. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class David A. Cox/Released)

PACIFIC OCEAN (Nov. 11, 2015) – USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) travels behind the guided-missile destroyer USS Stockdale (DDG 106) during a Missile Exercise (MSLEX). Sailors from the John C. Stennis Strike Group are participating in a sustainment training exercise (SUSTEX) to prepare for future deployments. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class David A. Cox/Released)