US Aircraft Carriers to Start Joint Exercise in Western Pacific

Laura Christensen
November 10, 2017

The USS Ronald Reagan, USS Nimitz and USS Theodore Roosevelt strike groups will conduct air defense drills, sea surveillance, replenishments at sea and other training in worldwide waters November 11-14, the Navy said Wednesday.

The units that have been assigned the strike force will conduct coordinated operations in worldwide waters to demonstrate the United States Navy's unique potential to operate multiple carrier strike groups as a coordinated strike force effort, according to the official website of the Commander, U.S. 7 Fleet.

It is the first time that three aircraft carriers are conducting drills together in the western Pacific since the Valiant Shield exercises in 2006 and 2007 off the coast of the island of Guam. The aerial formation consists of aircraft from the carrier strike groups as well as Air Force aircraft.

"It is a rare opportunity to train with two aircraft carriers together, and even rarer to be able to train with three", U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Scott Swift said in a statement.

A spokesperson for the South Korean Ministry of Defense told EFE in Seoul that the three USA aircraft carriers will also carry out maneuvers with the South Korean Navy, closer to North Korean territory, in the Sea of Japan - alternatively called the East Sea in the two Koreas.

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Units assigned to the strike force will conduct coordinated operations in global waters to demonstrate the U.S. Navy's unique capability to operate multiple carrier strike groups as a coordinated strike force effort.

As of this writing, three US aircraft carrier strike groups are gathered in the western Pacific Ocean alongside two submarines. Trump sought to ratchet up pressure on North Korea by refusing to rule out eventual military action and declaring that the United States "will not stand" for North Korea menacing America or its Asian allies.

He said of the North Korean threats to strike the USA and its allies, "That would be a fatal miscalculation". It comes as the US President continues his Asia tour, reiterating Washington's willingness to use military force against Pyongyang if necessary.

"While in a war against China, US carriers might be vulnerable, they wouldn't be in any conflict against North Korea.and three US carriers can deliver a tremendous amount of airpower".

Their presence is a formidable show of force against North Korea. This is a very different administration than the US has had in the past.

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