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Global security environment prompts US military 'to be perpetually ready’

Updated: Jun 26

EA-18G Growler on the flight deck of USS Ronald Reagan. Photo by Joseph Meyers

By Joseph Meyers

Amid the alarming rise in global conflicts and regional tensions, Navy officials said the U.S. military is confident of its ability to respond to any crisis. 

The conflict between the U.S. Navy and the Houthi militia in Yemen—currently the most intense U.S. naval engagement since WWII— shapes the U.S. military’s view of the security environment.

Daryle Cardone

 “The process of global force management is interactive and adaptive,” said Capt. Daryle Cardone, commanding officer of USS Ronald Reagan. “It is a reminder to us that we need to be perpetually ready.”


According to USS Ronald Reagan’s mission statement, in the event of a war, “We will launch air attacks on enemies and protect friendly forces as directed by the president of the United States.”


The very serious nature of the strike group’s mission to deter would-be aggressors is made very apparent by the dozens of F/A-18 Super-Hornet jets and other military aircraft on the flight deck and below in the hangar.


The 97,000-ton aircraft carrier, and its strike group, Carrier Strike Group 5, and part of Task Force 70, are fresh off completing the massive Valiant Shield exercise in the Indo-Pacific region.

“What I think most of all it has done for us is given us an incredible amount of confidence in the weapons systems that we've fielded over the past few decades, as well as the training we have invested in our operators and crews of the various vessels that have been over there,” Cardone said at a press briefing Wednesday after the ship’s arrival on Guam for a port call.


With training that is on point, the captain said, “We are confident in our tactics, techniques, and procedures, and that our means of rotational readiness is hitting the mark.” 


Along with allies and partners forces, the U.S. military held Valiant Shield on Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Palau from June 7 to 18.  Valiant Shield is a multinational, biennial field training exercise focused on interoperability in a multidomain environment.

Gregory Newkirk

China is often stated as a potential adversary in the region. The People’s Liberation Army’s power is increasing in size, capability and operations with routine clashes with Philippine forces, and exercises around Taiwan.


“Exercises such as VS24 allow forces across the Indo-Pacific the opportunity to integrate Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Space Force, and partner nations to train in precise, lethal, and overwhelming multi-axis, multi-domain effects that demonstrate the strength and versatility of the Joint and Combined Force,” states a press release from the Pacific Fleet.


The exercise is held every two years and keeps growing in complexity. For the first time, the exercise included observers and participants from a multinational group, including the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Forces.


The increased level of joint force participation and a corresponding increase in complexity year after year, Cardone explained, enable the military “to understand where the seams are, how we do business, what's working.”


 The tools and processes, he added, are tested out in a realistic environment.

“I'll tell you, we learn a whole heck of a lot,” Cardone said. “And it certainly brings an element of confidence to know that the people that we put in place, the tools that they have at their disposal, the processes that put it all together are working.”


 This year, USS Ronald Reagan is returning to the mainland U.S. for maintenance and will be replaced as America’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier by USS George Washington (CVN 73).


When asked about how these events and the changeover to the USS George Washington affects readiness, the Rear Adm. Gregory Newkirk said “Our orders could change tomorrow to sail this aircraft carrier anywhere in the world and be ready for any contingency across the entire spectrum of conflict. And that's what you see parked behind you, is you see a full, fully certified, fully carrier strike group. the USS George Washington has been doing the same thing that we do.” 

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