Hundreds of aircraft launched from two US carriers in the South China Sea this week are participating in an around-the-clock drill to support free navigation in the South China Sea, the US Navy said in a press release.

"Working together with another Carrier Air Wing provides advanced opportunities for our squadrons to conduct high-end training, and increase our warfighting readiness", Captain Michael Rovenolt, commanding officer of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, said. "Our forces provide combatant commanders with significant operational flexibility to respond to regional contingencies".

Carrier Air Wing 5, embarked aboard Ronald Reagan, and Carrier Air Wing -17, embarked aboard Nimitz, launched and recovered hundreds of aircraft daily, continually operating around-the-clock, the release pointed out.

"Integrated operations included air defence exercises, tactical maneuvering drills, simulated long-range maritime strike scenarios, and coordinated air and surface exercises to maintain combat readiness and maritime superiority", the release said on Tuesday.

According to the release, the US Navy regularly conducts joint aircraft carrier group operations that "demonstrate the commitment of presence and stability in the region", as well as training opportunities that increase fleet wide tactical proficiency.

The Nimitz Aircraft Carrier Strike Group consists of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, Carrier Air Wing 17, the guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton, the guided-missile destroyers USS Sterett, and Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Ralph Johnson The Ronald Reagan Aircraft Carrier Strike Group consists of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, Carrier Air Wing 5, the guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam, the guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin, and is forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, the release added.