Three US naval aircraft carriers are making a beeline to the same destination to partake in an unusual military drill not seen for almost a decade.
The aircraft carriers, all based in different locations, will begin the drill in the Western Pacific on Saturday through Tuesday next week.
Assigned Strike force Units will conduct series of operations in international waters to practice the US Naval force’s unique ability to operate different carrier strike groups as a fully coordinated military team.
The carriers are required to meet up in the Sea of Japan during the week off the Korean Peninsula, according to a US defense official.
Drill not targeting North Korea
“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. “Multiple aircraft carrier strike force operations are extremely complex, and this training is a solid demonstration of the US Pacific Fleet’s remarkable capacity and strong sense of duty regarding the security and stability of the country.”
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.
This is the first time in 10 years that a team of three carrier strike force groups practiced together in the Western Pacific, since Valiant Shield 2006 and 2007 in Guam. Both operations focused on the capacity to quickly unite forces from three strike force groups because of national circumstances. Ronald Reagan partook in Valiant Shield 2006 and Nimitz participated in Valiant Shield 2007.
Recently, the US Naval force aircraft carriers have organized three “double strike group” operations in the Western Pacific which took place in the East China Sea, South China Sea, and the Philippine Sea. These exercises were conducted when strike force groups were sent to the seventh Fleet region of operations from the west coast of the US are joined with the strike force group from Japan.
The training is expected to showcase the military strength and US alliance with Japan and South Korea amid the ongoing conflict with North Korea, according to information obtained by Association Press.
For more than seven decades, the US Pacific Fleet has been an active and stabilized component conducting strike force operations in the region.