Aircraft Carriers to Conduct Rare Exercise in Sea of Japan

Saul Bowman
November 10, 2017

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

The Navy noted that for more than 70 years, the U.S. Pacific Fleet has been a persistent and stabilizing presence conducting operations throughout the region.

The last time three U.S. 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. The aerial formation consists of aircraft from the carrier strike groups as well as Air Force aircraft. "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".

Like those earlier maritime maneuvers, this year's Valiant Shield tests the Navy's ability to rapidly deploy a trio of strike groups to address a regional crisis.

The drill will include the USS Nimitz, the Ronald Reagan, the Theodore Roosevelt and their accompanying warships, the first time three USA aircraft carrier strike groups have exercised together in the region in a decade. Speaking in Tokyo on Monday, Trump renewed his warning that the "era of strategic patience" with North Korea was over.

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 request includes an additional $4.0 billion to support urgent missile defeat and defense enhancements to counter the threat from North Korea, $0.7 billion to fix damage to US Navy ships, and $1.2 billion in support of my Administration's South Asia strategy, the letter addressed to the Speaker of the House of Representatives", Paul Ryan Monday.

Shin Won-sik, former head of the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff operational headquarters, said that the U.S. Navy's coordinated operations would "give a taste" of Washington's military options on North Korea, which has often threatened to hit the U.S. mainland with long-range missiles.

On Wednesday, North Korea accused Seoul of "blindly" siding with the United States, which it said was planning a nuclear war on the peninsula.

Nuclear-armed North Korea has lashed out at the military muscle-flexing, which it calls a rehearsal for invasion.

The regime added that Trump's very visit to South Korea was meant to "light the fuse for a nuclear war".

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