With the participation of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, the United States Navy (U.S Navy), along with naval forces from other countries in the Indo-Pacific region, commenced the multinational Exercise Valiant Shield 2024 in the vicinity of the South China Sea and the Philippine Sea. The tenth edition will unfold over eight days, marking the first time in history that allied Indo-Pacific forces will come together with the US to enhance interoperability among forces.

Under the message of maintaining a safe, stable, protected, and free region, various nations such as Canada, France, Japan, and their naval assets will be deployed in Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, and the sea around the Mariana Islands Training Range Complex. Within this framework, activities will be conducted with the support of aerial, naval, ground, unmanned, and artillery assets.

From Japan, it was confirmed that ten F-22 Raptor stealth fighters and 180 personnel from the U.S Air Force’s 18th Wing, based at Kadena Air Base, along with 5 EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft and 130 personnel from the U.S Navy’s Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 138 “Yellow Jackets,” will participate in the exercise. It was also revealed that the JS Hakugei (SS-514) submarine would conduct training with U.S forces near Guam. The naval assets comprising the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force deployment are the JS Izumo (DDH 183), the guided-missile destroyer JS Haguro (DDG 180) of the Maya class, and the Taigei class submarine JS Jingei (SS 515).

Furthermore, Combat Logistics Regiment 17 of the 1st Marine Logistics Group of the Marine Corps will lead the joint deployment from Palau. Other U.S units include elements from the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing and the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, the Army’s 3rd Multi-Domain Task Force, the 556th Test and Evaluation Squadron, and the Air Force’s 27th Fighter Squadron and the Navy’s 30th Naval Construction Regiment.

The USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier of the United States Navy, belonging to Carrier Strike Group 5 of the 7th Fleet, is accompanied by the USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Robert Smalls, and the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers USS Higgins (DDG 76) and USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115). It is noteworthy that the aircraft carrier recently departed from Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan, marking the beginning of the ship’s final scheduled deployment in the Indo-Pacific before being replaced by the USS George Washington.

Also participating are the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71); the Aquitaine-class frigate FS Bretagne (D 655) of the French National Navy; the Halifax-class frigate HMCS Montreal (FFH 336) of the Royal Canadian Navy; the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Daniel Inouye (DDG 118), USS Russell (DDG 59), and USS Halsey (DDG 97); and the dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49).

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