Three-Carrier Strike Force Conducts Exercise in Western Pacific

S. Korean Navy, 3 US Carriers to Conduct Joint Drill

3 US Carrier Strike Groups Hold Massive Naval Drill with South Korean, Japanese Navies in Western Pacific

The MSDF destroyers Inazuma, Makinami and Ise joined the carriers USS Ronald Reagan, USS Nimitz and USS Theodore Roosevelt, along with a dozen or so other U.S. Navy ships that make up the three U.S. strike groups.

"The goal of the drill in global waters is to showcase the U.S. Navy's "unique capability to operate multiple carrier strike groups as a coordinate strike force effort", the service said in a statement".

"The opportunity to practice with two aircraft carriers at the same time is a rare one, and even rarer to have the capacity to practice with three", said US Pacific fleet Commander, Adm. Scott Swift.

This is the first time all three U.S. aircraft carriers are taking part at the same time in a military exercise in over a decade. Both operations focused on the capacity to quickly unite forces from three strike force groups because of national circumstances.

While in the water, the strike force intends to conduct air defense exercise, surveillance, refill at sea, coordinated moves, defensive air combat strategies, and much more.

In a first, three U.S. aircraft carriers carried out joint exercise off the east coast of South Korea on Sunday even as President Donald Trump reached Manila for the ASEAN summit.

While operating in the Sea of Japan on November 12, the U.S. Navy carriers were joined by a fleet of Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) warships that included the JS Ise, a 1 3,950-ton Hyūga-class helicopter destroyer, the JS Makinami, a Takanami-class guided-missile antisubmarine warfare destroyer, and the lead ship of the Murasame-class of general goal destroyers, JS Murasame. "But our military is keeping a full readiness posture against the possibility of North Korea's provocations", a South Korean official was quoted as saying by the Yonhap news agency.

The official added that exercises closest to Korea involved US and South Korean ships, while those closest to Japan involved USA and Japanese forces.

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