Three US aircraft carriers set for joint drill near Korea

10 November, 2017, 01:12 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Letter: Just say no to war

The drill will involve the USS Nimitz, the Ronald Reagan, the Theodore Roosevelt and their accompanying warships, the first time three U.S. aircraft carrier strike groups have exercised together in the region in a decade.

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

Since taking office, Trump has vowed to expand the fleet of USA carriers, even as some military strategists and experts believe the massive ships would be increasingly vulnerable to modern Chinese and Russian weapons in any conflict.

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Three U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier strike groups will conduct joint drills in the Pacific for the first time in a decade.

The strike group will practice everything from air defence drills, sea surveillance and defensive air combat training, to close-in coordinated manoeuvres and replenishments at sea. A decade ago, Valiant Shield (VS) 2006 and 2007 had operated together off the coast of Guam, a US island territory in Micronesia, and focused on the ability to bring together forces from all the three strike groups in response to any regional situation.

The last time three carrier strike groups operated together in the Western Pacific was during exercises Valiant Shield 2006 and 2007, which were off the coast of Guam.

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The presence of three aircraft carrier strike groups in the area was also mentioned in President Donald Trump's speech in South Korea, the second leg of his five-nation tour of Asia that drew both supporters and anti-war protesters.

This massive show of military force is taking place during the US President's 12-day Asia tour amid heightened tensions with North Korea.

According to The Associated Press, officials have said recently that the exercise is meant to demonstrate USA resolve with allies Japan and South Korea during the ongoing crisis with North Korea. Kim has called Trump a "mentally deranged US dotard".

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"It's a message to China to do more to pressure the North", said Shim Beom-chul, a professor of defense and unification issues at the Korea National Diplomatic Academy in Seoul.

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