U.S. Navy Hull Maintenance Technician Fireman Riley Decock, from Colona, Ill., is practicing welding techniques aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in the Philippine Sea.

Nimitz is in the 7th fleet conducting routine operations. 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with 35 maritime nations in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region, according to a Navy release.

Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (CSG) chopped into U.S. 7th Fleet on Dec. 16 and is now operating in the Philippine Sea, northeast of Luzon. The CSG deployed from the West Coast on Dec. 3, 2022.