The U.S. Pacific Fleet made the following statement on Facebook:
Operating as part of U.S. Pacific Fleet, units assigned to USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Carrier Strike Groups, USS America (LHA 6) and USS Essex (LHD 2) – Official Amphibious Ready Groups alongside Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Hyuga-class helicopter destroyer JS Hyuga (DDH 181), are conducting training to preserve and protect a Free and Open Indo-Pacific.
In details, the impressive photo exercise (photoex) / demonstration consisted in:
- Nimitz-class aircraft carriers USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) (~200,000 tons displacement)
- America-class landing helicopter assault USS America (LHA 6) (~45,000 tons displacement)
- Wasp-class landing helicopter dock USS Essex (LHD 2) (~40,000 tons displacement)
- Hyuga-class helicopter destroyer JS Hyuga (DDH 181) (~14,000 tons displacement)
- Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111), USS Chafee (DDG 90) and USS Gridley (DDG 101) (~27,000 tons displacement)
- Tico-class cruisers USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) and USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) (~20,000 tons displacement)
That represents a total of roughly 346,000 tons of steel and diplomacy in a single photo! In addition, a “fly past” consisting in four F-35C Lightning II, three F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, one E/A-18G Growler, one V-22 Osprey and one E-2D Advanced Hawkeye also took place.
As noted by famous naval commenator Chris Cavas, “F-35Cs are aboard each CVN. Japan-based assault ship AMERICA also carries F-35B Joint Strike Fighters, making this the 1st time 3 ships have operated together each carrying JSFs”