Updated 2:00 PM EDT, Wed, May 20, 2020

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USS Carl Vinson Strike Group in South China Sea Reinforced by Surface Action Group Destroyers

Pacific power

(Photo : US Navy) Four Arleigh Burke-class Aegis guided missile destroyers: USS Dewey (DDG 105), USS Sterett (DDG 104), USS Mustin (DDG 89) and USS Stethem (DDG 63).

The U.S. Navy has reinforced the Carrier Strike Group (CSG) of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) currently patrolling the South China Sea with a Surface Action Group (SAG) whose mission is to engage in ship-to-ship combat against the Chinese.

The Sterett-Dewey Surface Action Group (Sterett-Dewey SAG) consisting of the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers USS Sterett (DDG 104) and USS Dewey (DDG 105) and other units on March 31 deployed to the Western Pacific from Naval Base San Diego, homeport of the United States Seventh Fleet.

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The command staff of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 31 and USS Sterett and USS Dewey deployed with helicopter detachments from Helicopter Maritime Squadron (HSM) 49 and HSM 78.

The Sterett-Dewey SAG will operate with regional navies to conduct routine patrols, maritime security operations and theater security cooperation activities to enhance regional security and stability.

It will remain under control of the United States Third Fleet, including beyond the international dateline which previously divided operational areas of responsibility for the Third and Seventh Fleets, for the entirety of the deployment.

Third Fleet operating forward offers additional options to Admiral Scott Swift, Commander, United States Pacific Fleet (USPACFLT), by leveraging the capabilities of the Third and Seventh Fleets. This operational concept allows both numbered fleets to complement one another and provide the foundation of stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

"We are building upon the successes and applying the lessons learned from the inaugural PACSAG deployment," said Capt. David Bretz, commander, DESRON 31.

"The value of a SAG cannot be overstated. We are ready and able to support a variety of exercises and missions with our partners and allies in support of maritime stability and security in the Western Pacific."

The Third Fleet leads naval forces in the Pacific and constantly coordinates with the Seventh Fleet to plan and execute missions based on their complementary strengths to promote ongoing peace, security, and stability throughout the entire Pacific theater of operations.

The USS Carl Vinson and its Carrier Strike Group One (CSG-1) began patrolling the South China Sea in early March.

Units assigned to CSG-1 are the USS Carl Vinson; Carrier Air Wing Seventeen; the Ticonderoga-class cruisers USS Bunker Hill (CG-52) and USS Lake Champlain (CG-57) and the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers of Destroyer Squadron 1.

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