Tuesday, 12 December, 2017

Aircraft Carrier Groups Take Part in Joint US- S. Korean Maritime Drills

US aircraft carriers GETTYUSS Ronald Reagan USS Nimitz and USS Theodore Roosevelt
Melinda Barton | 14 November, 2017, 01:54

Three US naval aircraft carriers are making a beeline to the same destination to partake in an unusual military drill not seen for nearly a decade.

The carriers conducted drills on either side of the waters separating the Korean Peninsula and Japan, a South Korean defense ministry official told CNN.

"U.S. Navy Carrier Strike Groups routinely deploy to the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean", according to a Navy statement.

The four-day drill began Sunday, and it gives the three carrier strike groups an unusual opportunity to train together as an integrated unit alongside allied South Korean and Japanese forces.

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. "Multiple carrier strike force operations are very complex, and this exercise in the Western Pacific is a strong testament to the US Pacific Fleet's unique ability and ironclad commitment to the continued security and stability of the region". Ronald Reagan partook in Valiant Shield 2006 and Nimitz participated in Valiant Shield 2007.

In this November 12, 2017 photo provided by South Korea Defense Ministry, three USA aircraft carriers USS Theodore Roosevelt, top left, USS Ronald Reagan, top center, and USS Nimitz, top right, participate with South Korean Navy's Aegis destroyer, King Sejong the Great, bottom, during the joint naval exercises between the United States and South Korea in waters off South Korea's eastern coast in South Korea. These exercises were conducted when strike force groups were sent to the seventh Fleet region of operations from the west coast of the United States are joined with the strike force group from Japan.

Tensions between the United States and North Korea have been sharply escalating in recent months with both sides indicating that they will not hesitate to engage in military action.

For more than seven decades, the US Pacific Fleet has been an active and stabilized component conducting strike force operations in the region.