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Carrier Ronald Reagan heads back into the South China Sea

The aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan and its strike group returned to the restive South China Sea Friday for a series of maritime air defense operations.

The Japan-based carrier was last in the disputed waters in mid-July when it conducted dual-carrier ops with the carrier Nimitz.

Earlier in July, the carrier strike groups and an Air Force B-52 Stratofortress from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana conducted a maritime integration exercise in the South China Sea.

Training that began Friday also involved the guided-missile cruiser Antietam and the destroyers Mustin and Rafael Peralta, as well as Carrier Air Wing 5.

The units conducted air-to-air operations, combat search and rescue drills and air defense exercises, according to the Navy.

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