SOUTH CHINA SEA (NNS) -- Amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD 23) conducted routine operations in international waters during a northbound transit of the South China Sea as part of a deployment to the Western Pacific Nov. 13-14.
Anchorage's South China Sea transit followed a Nov. 10 patrol by multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2), flagship of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG). Other U.S. Navy ships have conducted similar operations in the 7th Fleet area of operation in recent months, including Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Lassen (DDG 82), USS Preble (DDG 88) and USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62), Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) and Freedom-class littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3).
These routine patrols support security, stability and freedom of the seas in the Indo-Asia-Pacific.
"The Sailors aboard Anchorage conducted an exacting and professional transit through a challenging environment," said Capt. Clint Carroll, commander of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG).
The transit followed Anchorage's recent participation in exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Brunei. Anchorage's participation in CARAT included a bi-lateral exchange in Brunei, during which the ship hosted distinguished visitors including the U.S. Ambassador to Brunei, the Honorable Craig Allen.
Anchorage is part of the Essex ARG, commanded by Capt. Clint Carroll. The Essex ARG includes the multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2), the amphibious transport dock USS Anchorage (LPD 23) and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47), as well as various supporting elements from Assault Craft Unit 5, Beachmaster Unit 1, Fleet Surgical Team 1, Tactical Air Control Squadron (TACRON) 11 and Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 21. The Essex ARG is assigned to Combined Task Force 76 (CTF 76) during its time in the U.S. 7th Fleet AOR and Anchorage is commanded by Capt. J.J. Cummings.
The Essex ARG and 15th MEU deployed from San Diego, California, May 11, on a regularly scheduled deployment and will continue to support operations and engagements in the U.S. 7th Fleet prior to returning to homeport.