A third U.S. aircraft carrier strike group has entered the Indian Ocean-Western Pacific region, but the Navy is pointing that the ship's movement is part of long-standing deployment plans.
On Wednesday, the Navy's 7th Fleet announced that the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group, along with its air wing, a cruiser and four destroyers, had entered the area on its way from its scheduled deployment in the Middle East to the carrier's home port in Bremerton, Wash.
The release said that while the group plans to conduct a port visit in the region, the ships and aircraft "will be ready to support operations throughout" the area of operations.
On Monday, the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group also entered 7th Fleet on a planned deployment, joining the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group, which is based on Japan. The Roosevelt group includes the carrier and its air wing, one cruiser and three destroyers, and a release pointed out that the deployment includes 7th Fleet and 5th Fleet, which is in the Middle East. Reagan began its routine patrol of the Western Pacific on Sept. 8.
"U.S. Navy Carrier Strike Groups routinely deploy to the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean," a Navy official said Wednesday. "These deployments are part of a previously planned deployment cycle and it is not uncommon for incoming and outgoing carrier strike group transit timing to overlap as one begins a deployment the other concludes."
7th Fleet, which falls under U.S. Pacific Fleet, stretches from the central Indian Ocean to the central Pacific, and includes the Indian subcontinent, all of Asia and Australia. Once the Navy announced Nimitz had entered the fleet, it was likely in the Indian Ocean, thousands of miles from the Korean Peninsula.