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For the first time since 2014, the U.S. Navy has two Nimitz class aircraft carriers and elements of their respective strikes groups operating together in the South China Sea. It is a significant show for force in what is arguably the region's most hotly contested body of water and a clear signal to China, which claims the bulk of it as its sovereign territory. 

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The first-in-class USS Nimitz and her sister ship the USS Ronald Reagan first began conducting exercises together in the South China Sea on July 4, 2020. Carrier Air Wings 17 and 5, aboard the Nimitz and Ronald Reagan, respectively, have also been training together. Ticonderoga class cruisers and Arleigh Burke class destroyers from the two carriers' strike groups are also present.

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