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ESG 7 / CTF 76 News
NEWS | Sept. 25, 2020

Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group Concludes Valiant Shield 2020

By Petty Officer 2nd Class Codie Soule

The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group concluded Valiant Shield 2020, Sept. 25, while operating in the Philippine Sea.

During the exercise, the strike group integrated with more than 11,000 personnel and 100 aircraft from the U.S. Navy, Army, Marine Corps and Air Force, and took part in the U.S.-only field training biennial exercise. Participating forces exercised a wide range of joint capabilities in air, land, surface, and sub-surface scenarios. This year’s participants included USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) with embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, USS Antietam (CG 54), USS Shiloh (CG 67), USS Barry (DDG 52), USS Chicago (SSN 721), USS America (LHA 6), USS New Orleans (LPD 18), USS Comstock (LSD 45) and multiple surface ships.

“Valiant Shield enables joint force integration that increases our warfighting readiness in an all domain environment,” said Rear Adm. George M. Wikoff, commander Carrier Strike Group 5. “High end joint training demonstrates our ability to rapidly deploy a ready, agile, and lethal team capable of responding with overwhelming combat power to any contingency in the region.”

During Valiant Shield, the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike group conducted several multi-platform live-fire missile exercises to enhance integrated response capabilities of U.S. forward-deployed forces.

The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54) conducted surface to land tomahawk land attack cruise-missile strike scenarios. Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group units also participated in a sinking exercise (SINKEX), combining an orchestrated sequence of live ordinance targeting the ex-USS Curts (FFG 38), including air-launched ordinance from fixed and rotary wing squadrons of CVW-5, embarked aboard Ronald Reagan, surface launched missiles from Antietam and Shiloh, as well as various supporting Navy and U.S. Air Force aircraft.

“Valiant Shield demonstrates our nation’s steadfast commitment to the Western Pacific and our allies in the region,” said Capt. Pat Hannifin, Ronald Reagan’s commanding officer. “Ronald Reagan’s seamless integration with our joint partners in the Army, Marine Corps and Air Force ensures a lethal and flexible global force to answer the call for prompt and sustained combat operations wherever they are needed. We are proud to stand watch from the sea in support of this unmatched joint team.”

Valiant Shield is a series of military exercises that promote integration among the U.S. Navy, Army, Air Force and Marine Corps. Each successive exercise builds on lessons learned from the previous training to enhance complementary capabilities and develop new tactics, techniques, and procedures. This training increases the deterrence and stabilizing effects of a joint force, ready to respond to any contingency. This is the eighth exercise in the Valiant Shield series that began in 2006.