USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker: Sept. 18, 2023

September 18, 2023 12:31 PM
USNI News Graphic

These are the approximate positions of the U.S. Navy’s deployed carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups throughout the world as of Sept. 18, 2023, based on Navy and public data. In cases where a CSG or ARG is conducting disaggregated operations, the chart reflects the location of the capital ship.

Ships Underway

Total Battle Force Deployed Underway
(USS 237, USNS 59)
(USS 65, USNS 33)
(32 Deployed, 26 Local)

Ships Deployed by Fleet

2nd Fleet 3rd Fleet 4th Fleet 5th Fleet 6th Fleet 7th Fleet Total
0 1 3 14 20 60 98

In Japan

Lt. David Palencia, assistant public affairs officer, gives a tour of the pilot house to Republic of Korea (ROK) Air Force Brig. Gen. Hyoung Dong Lee, from the ROK/U.S. Combined Forces Command Future Operations and Plans Office (C35) aboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) on Sept. 12, 2023. US Navy Photo

The Ronald Reagan Strike Group (CSG) is in Yokosuka, Japan.

Sailors assigned to amphibious assault carrier USS America (LHA-6) man the rails during a pass and review exercise in commemoration of the 73rd anniversary of the U.S. landing at the Battle of Incheon, Sept 15, 2023. US Marine Corps Photo

The America Amphibious Ready Group is pulling into Sasebo after a cruise in the East China Sea. Last week, the ARG participated in an exercise with the South Korean Navy and the Royal Canadian Navy in the Yellow Sea, coinciding with the 73rd anniversary of the Inchon landing that occurred on Sept. 15, 1950.

In the South China Sea

CNS Shandong.JMSDF Photo

The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) Shandong Carrier Strike Group returned to the South China Sea on Friday, reported USNI News last week. At the same time, five of the eight PLAN surface ships that had entered the Philippine Sea Monday via the Miyako Strait returned to the East China Sea Friday by the same route.

Legend-class National Security Cutter USCGC Munro (WMSL-755) is in the South China Sea.

In the Persian Gulf

Visitors from Qatar and U.S. delegates tour the hangar bay of the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD-5) in the Persian Gulf, Sept. 14, 2023. US Navy Photo

USS Bataan (LHD-5) and USS Carter Hall (LSD-50), with elements of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit embarked, are in the Persian Gulf.

On Thursday, the ARG hosted the U.S. ambassadors and visiting delegations from Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

This is the first time an ARG has been in U.S. 5th Fleet since the Essex Amphibious Ready Group departed 5th Fleet in January 2022.

Embarked units include Amphibious Squadron 8, 26th MEU(SOC), Fleet Surgical Team 8, Tactical Air Control Squadron 21, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 26, Assault Craft Unit 2, Assault Craft Unit 4 and Beach Master Unit 2. The 26th MEU (SOC), based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., includes Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 6th Marines; Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 162 (Reinforced) and Combat Logistics Battalion 22.

U.S. Coast Guard Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutters (FRCs) are forward-deployed to the region under Patrol Forces Southwest Asia (PATFORSWA). PATFORSWA deploys Coast Guard personnel and ships alongside U.S. and regional naval forces throughout the Middle East. Initially deployed in 2003 to support Operation Iraqi Freedom, PATFORSWA is now a permanent presence based out of the Kingdom of Bahrain.

In the Trieste, Italy

The Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group (CSG) arrived in Trieste, Italy on Sunday and is expected to remain until Thursday.

Carrier Strike Group 12

Capt. Rick Burgess, commanding officer USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), sits in the cockpit of an F/A-18F Super Hornet attached to the ‘Blacklions’ of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 213 on the flight deck, Sept. 13, 2023. US Navy Photo


USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), homeported at Norfolk, Va.

Carrier Air Wing 8

Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Kory Smith, from Greensboro, N.C., assigned USS Gerald R. Ford’s (CVN-78) weapons department, signals to an MH-60S Knight Hawk, attached to the ‘Tridents’ of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 9, during a replenishment-at-sea with USNS Laramie (T-AO-203), USNS Medgar Evers (T-AKE-13) and the Arleigh-Burke Class guided-missile destroyer USS Ramage (DDG-61), Sept. 16, 2023. US Navy Photo

Carrier Air Wing 8 (CVW 8), stationed at Naval Air Station Oceana, Va., is embarked on Ford for the deployment and includes a total of nine squadrons.

  • The “Ragin’ Bulls” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 37 – F/A-18F – from Naval Air Station Oceana.
  • The “Blacklions” of VFA 213 – F/A-18F – from Naval Air Station Oceana.
  • The “Golden Warriors” of VFA 87 – F/A-18F – from Naval Air Station Oceana.
  • The “Tomcatters” of VFA 31 – F/A-18F – from Naval Air Station Oceana.
  • The “Gray Wolves” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 142 – EA-18G – from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash.
  • The “Bear Aces” of Airborne Command and Control Squadron (VAW) 124 – E-2D – from Naval Air Station Norfolk, Va.
  • The “Rawhides” of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40 – C-2A – from Naval Air Station Norfolk.
  • The “Spartans” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 70 – MH-60R – from Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla.
  • The “Tridents” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 9 – MH-60S – from Naval Air Station Norfolk.


Chief (Sel.) Operations Specialist Kairi Summers, assigned to the Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG-60), conducts a presentation during a 9/11 memorial ceremony, Sep. 11, 2023. US Navy Photo
  • USS Normandy (CG-60), homeported at Norfolk, Va.

Destroyer Squadron 2

Seaman Omar Salazar, assigned to Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ramage (DDG-61), checks the condition of one of the ships rigid hull inflatable boats, Sept. 12, 2023. US Navy Photo

Destroyer Squadron 2 is based in Norfolk, Va., and is embarked on Ford.

  • USS Ramage (DDG-61), homeported at Norfolk.
  • USS McFaul (DDG-74), homeported at Norfolk.
  • USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116), homeported at Mayport, Fla.

In the Baltic Sea

Marine assigned to the Battalion Landing Team 1/6, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) (26MEU(SOC)), pilots a Skydio Unmanned Aerial System during an amphibious landing for Northern Coast 2023 (NOCO 23) in Ventspils, Latvia, Sept. 12, 2023. US Marine Corps Photo

USS Mesa Verde (LPD-19) is underway in the Baltic off of Latvia conducting exercise Northern Coasts 2023.

According to the Navy, “the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS Mesa Verde (LPD-19) and embarked 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) Bravo Command Element, arrived in Riga, Latvia for a routine and scheduled port visit, Sept. 7, 2023.”

Marines with Battalion Landing Team 1/6, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) (26MEU(SOC)), fires at targets down range during a live fire exercise, Adazi, Latvia, Sept. 11, 2023. US Marine Corps Photo

“While in port, the 26th MEU (SOC) Bravo Command Element will begin to offload equipment and personnel in preparation for their participation exercise Northern Coasts 2023, a German-led multinational naval exercise series for NATO, EU and participating countries in the Baltic region,” the release reads.
“This year approximately 3,200 military members, 14 nations, 30 ships and submarines and up to 15 aircraft will participate in exercise Northern Coasts, strengthening the partnership and interoperability amongst Allies and partners.”

Mesa Verde is part of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (ARG). The other two ships in the Bataan ARG are currently operating in U.S. 5th Fleet.

In the Arctic Ocean

Coast Guardsmen and Mooring Operations Engineers assigned to U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy (WAGB 20) perform recovery operations of an oceanographic research mooring in the Arctic Ocean Sep. 6, 2023. US Army Photo

USCGC Healy (WAGB-20) continues its work servicing the Nansen and Amundsen Basins Observational System (NABOS).

“Embarking from Kodiak, Alaska, traveling through the Arctic Ocean and ending at Tromsø, Norway, scientists aboard the United States Coast Guard Cutter Healy will recover scientific sensors deployed during a 2021 cruise,” reads a statement. “They will set out new equipment to continuously record temperature, salinity, and currents at different ocean depths. The team will also conduct ship-based surveys, gathering water and ice samples for future chemical analysis.”

Healy is on a five-month deployment in partnership with the Office of Naval Research and the National Science Foundation. The cutter left Seattle on July 11 for a months-long Arctic deployment.

In the Eastern Pacific

Female Sailors assigned to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) gather on the flight deck to celebrate the 103rd anniversary of the passing of the 19th amendment Sept. 3, 2023. US Navy Photo

USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) is underway in the Southern California Operating Areas.

USS Nimitz (CVN-68), homeported in Bremerton, Wash., is in port in San Diego.

In the Western Atlantic

Aviation Boatswain’s Mate Launch/Recovery (Equipment) Airman Apprentice Ryan Bowden from Windham, Maine, assigned to air department V2 division, stands by to recover an aircraft during flight operations aboard Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN-73) in the Atlantic Ocean, Sept. 15, 2023. US Navy Photo

USS George Washington (CVN-73) is underway in the Virginia Capes Operating Areas completing certifications following its mid-life refueling and overhaul.

In addition to these major formations, not shown are others serving in submarines, individual surface ships, aircraft squadrons, SEALs, Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Forces, Seabees, EOD Mobile Units and more serving throughout the globe.

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