Carrier USS Ronald Reagan Arrives in Guam After Valiant Shield Exercise

June 19, 2024 4:51 PM - Updated: June 19, 2024 11:00 PM
USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), pulls into Naval Base Guam for a scheduled port visit, June 19., 2024. US Navy Photo

Carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) pulled into Guam on Wednesday for a port visit after wrapping up exercise Valiant Shield 2024 on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the Russian Navy Pacific Fleet began drills with the joint command of troops and forces in the north-east of the Russian Federation.

Ronald Reagan docked into Naval Base Guam on Wednesday as part of a scheduled port visit, according to photos issued by the Navy. The carrier had been participating in exercise which began on June 7 and finished up on Tuesday. Reagan appeared from images to have docked in Guam without its escorts, cruiser USS Robert Smalls (CG-62) and destroyers USS Higgins (DDG-76) and USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115). The carrier deployed on May 16 for its last Indo-Pacific patrol as the Forward Deployed Naval Force–Japan (FDNF-J) aircraft carrier before returning to the United States later this year with USS George Washington (CVN-76) replacing it in Japan.

The U.S. military released little information on Valiant Shield 2024 despite this year’s iteration.

Some companies acknowledge participation in the exercise. Anduril Industries, which on Wednesday issued a release stating that it provided geographically distributed command and control capabilities for the exercise. The company also deployed its Menace family of systems, a group of expeditionary command, control, communications, and computing (C4) applications. That included Menace-X, an expeditionary command, control, communications, and computing (C4) vehicle-based system designed to be integrated on light tactical vehicles.

On Tuesday, the Primorsky Flotilla of the Russian Navy Pacific Fleet and the joint command of troops and forces in the north-east of the Russian Federation began drills that will run until June 28 in the Pacific Ocean, Sea of Japan and the Sea of Okhotsk, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense.

“At various stages, servicemen will practice anti-submarine operations, organize all kinds of naval defense of ships’ units, launch joint missile strikes against mock enemy ships’ groups, train to repel UAV and uncrewed surface vehicles attacks, perform a range of practical combat exercises,” reads the release.

A total of 40 ships and small craft will be involved in the drills. Twenty aircraft and helicopters of the Pacific Fleet Naval Aviation, including Tu-142MZ long-range anti-submarine aircraft, IL-38 and IL-38N aircraft and Ka-29 and Ka-27 helicopters. Marine units of the Russian Navy Pacific Fleet along with KH-35 and K-300P coastal defence missile units will also take part in the drills.

On Wednesday the Russian Ministry of Defense said Russian Pacific Fleet units completed their deployment as part of the exercise and the tactical groups departed from their base of operations after practicing withdrawal of forces from the attack of the mock enemy in Kamchatka and previously, units of the Primorsky Flotilla have been deployed in designated areas in the Sea of Japan.

On Tuesday, Russian Navy destroyer RFS Admiral Panteleyev (548) together with amphibious landing ships RFS Oslyabya (066) and RFS Peresvet (077) were sighted sailing east in an area 50km southwest of Oshima Island, an uninhabited volcanic island in the Sea of Japan which lies 50km west of the main island of Hokkaido and subsequently the Russian ships transited east through the Tsugaru Strait between the main island of Honshu and Hokkaido to enter the Pacific Ocean. The JSO said the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force minesweeper JS Enoshima (MSC-604) and a JMSDF P-3C Orion Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) of Fleet Air Wing 2 based at JMSDF Hachinohe Air Base on Honshu shadowed the Russian ships.

The JSO also issued a release on Wednesday stating that at 6 a.m that day, People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) Dongdiao class surveillance ship Tianshuxing (795) was sighted sailing northwest in an area 180km northeast of Miyako Island and subsequently sailed between Miyako Island and Okinawa to enter the East China Sea. Minesweeper JS Shishijima (MSC-691) and a JMSDF P-3C Orion MPA from Fleet Air Wing 5 based at Naha Air Base, Okinawa, conducted surveillance on the PLAN ship, according to the release.

In an earlier release on Monday, the JSO stated that at noon on Sunday, PLAN destroyer CNS Zibo (156) and fleet oiler CNS Gaoyouhu (904) were sighted sailing south in an area 150km north of Miyako Island and subsequently sailed southeast in the waters between Miyako Island and Okinawa to enter the Philippine Sea. Shishijima and a JMSDF Fleet Air Wing 5 P-3C Orion MPA shadowed the PLAN ships, stated the release.


Dzirhan Mahadzir

Dzirhan Mahadzir

Dzirhan Mahadzir is a freelance defense journalist and analyst based in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. Among the publications he has written for and currently writes for since 1998 includes Defence Review Asia, Jane’s Defence Weekly, Navy International, International Defence Review, Asian Defence Journal, Defence Helicopter, Asian Military Review and the Asia-Pacific Defence Reporter.

Get USNI News updates delivered to your inbox