Three carriers to gather in the western Pacific for exercises
Nov 12, 2017, 01:51
DONALD Trump has ordered the "three largest aircraft carriers in the world" to Kim Jong-un's doorstep in the biggest Western Pacific strike force drill for a decade.
The last time three USA carrier strike groups exercised together was in 2007, when the Nimitz, along with the John C. Stennis and Kitty Hawk carrier strike groups participated in drills near Guam.
This will be the first time the three USA aircraft carriers will conduct an exercise in the area since 2007.
Rep. Kinzinger reacts to the USA show of force amid the crisis in North Korea. "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".
A spokesperson for the South Korean Ministry of Defense told EFE in Seoul that the three United States 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. These opportunities typically come about when the strikes groups deployed to the 7th Fleet area of operations from the West Coast of the U.S. are coupled with the forward deployed carrier strike group from Japan, said the report on the official website of the Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet.
The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan conducts joint drills with the South Korean navy at sea on October 19.
The strike force plans to conduct air defense drills, sea surveillance, replenishments at sea, defensive air combat training, close in-coordinated maneuvers, and other training.
The Ministry of National Defense (MND) on Thursday confirmed to media that this will be the first time that the ROK and the USA navies stage joint bilateral drills with the three aircraft carriers in waters off the east coast of the country.
In late May, Reagan and the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group conducted the first dual-carrier operations off of the Korean Peninsula since the late 1990s in reaction to a series of provocative missile tests conducted by North Korea.
Also on Saturday, the US and South Korean navies launched four days of joint drills off the east coast of South Korea.
North Korea's foreign ministry issued a statement via the official Korean Central News Agency on Saturday describing Trump's trip as "a warmonger's visit for confrontation". This is a very different administration than the USA has had in the past.
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