Wednesday, 22 November, 2017

Three US aircraft carriers set for joint drill near Korea

John Kerry has warned US President Donald Trump that ranting about North Korea on Twitter could fuel the regime's nuclear ambitions. Gary Cameron Reuters Letter: Just say no to war
Andrew Cummings | 10 November, 2017, 01:09

Three US aircraft carrier strike groups will hold joint drills in the Western Pacific, the Pentagon has confirmed.

The last time three U.S. carrier strike groups exercised together was in 2007, near Guam.

The USS Ronald Reagan, based in Japan; the USS Theodore Roosevelt, based in San Diego; and the USS Nimitz, based at Naval Base Kitsap at Bremerton, Washington, will commence the strike force exercise in the Western Pacific Saturday through next Tuesday.

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.

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

"Multiple carrier strike force operations are very complex, and 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", he added.

While at sea, the US strike force will conduct air defense drills, sea surveillance, defensive air combat training and close-in coordinated maneuvers, among others.

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Trump though tried to avoid his earlier threats to North Korea, was clear in his vows to counter aggravations with military force, according to the CNN.

The U.S. 7th Fleet, which announced the exercise yesterday, have said it will demonstrate its resolve with allies Japan and South Korea.

These weapons tests, along with Trump's belligerent rhetoric, have escalated tensions to unprecedented levels since the end of the Korean War (1950-1953). Ronald Reagan took part in VS 2006 and Nimitz took part in VS 2007.

Their presence is a formidable show of force against North Korea.

Kim was said to have examined it for a "long time" and warned the United States to cease its reckless actions, unless it wanted the North to follow through.

"A touch-and-go situation is prevailing in the peninsula due to the USA and south Korean puppet forces' military provocations", the official Rodong Sinmun wrote.

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