Pentagon confirms rare, three aircraft carrier drill November 11-14

by Antonio Miles November 12, 2017, 1:52
Pentagon confirms rare, three aircraft carrier drill November 11-14

The San Diego-based carrier Theodore Roosevelt is joining two other flattops for a major exercise in the western Pacific that begins Saturday.

The drills are scheduled to take place from November 11-14 in the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan in an ongoing naming dispute between South Korea and Japan.

From the South Korean side, two Aegis-equipped destroyers, one destroyer and four frigates will be mobilized for the joint exercises with the US carriers, according to Yonhap.

The last time such drills were held was during the Valiant Shield exercises in 2006 and 2007, which took place off the coast of the USA territory of Guam, which hosts two US military bases and is on the North Korean radar for a potential missile strike.

Units assigned to the strike force will conduct coordinated operations in global waters off the Korean peninsula from Saturday through Tuesday in order to demonstrate the Navy's unique capability to operate multiple carrier groups as a coordinated force. Reagan has been operating off the Korean peninsula since last month.

During his visit to South Korea during his ongoing Asian tour, US President Donald Trump strongly criticised Pyongyang and twice referred to the deployment of the three aircraft carriers in the region.

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The strike exercise has come up amidst growing tensions on the Korean Peninsula over Pyongyang's nuclear arms and ballistic missile programs.

"Multiple carrier strike force operations are very complex, and this exercise in the Western Pacific is a strong testament to the U.S. Pacific Fleet's unique ability and ironclad commitment to the continued security and stability of the region".

The fleet stopped short of revealing the exact venue for the training. Both exercises focused on the ability to rapidly bring together forces from three strike groups in response to any regional situation.

The Reagan participated in the 2006 exercises, the Nimitz in 2007. The US 7th Fleet did not mention where in the western Pacific the three aircraft carriers would be conducting their exercises.

Svilen Petrov is 31 years old marketing manager and co-Chief Editor of Maritime Herald.


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