US Navy to run rare 3-carrier military exercise in Pacific

USS KITTY HAWK at sea- USS Nimitz, USS Kitty Hawk, and USS John C. Stennis carrier strike groups steam in formation during a joint

US, S. Korea Start Drills In Show Of Force Against N. Korea

The USS Theodore Roosevelt strike group, including a cruiser and three destroyers, entered the Western Pacific region on October 23, joining the USS Ronald Reagan, Bloomberg said.

The three flattops are the USS Ronald Reagan, Nimitz and Theodore Roosevelt.

Three Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyers linked up for the first time with three U.S. Navy aircraft carriers for a massive exercise on November 12 in the Sea of Japan in a show of force toward Pyongyang.

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

"The strike force plans to conduct air defense drills, sea surveillance, replenishments at sea, defensive air combat training, close-in coordinated maneuvers, and other training", said a statement from the Navy's 7th Fleet, which is responsible for monitoring the Pacific including North Korea.

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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.

"U.S. Navy Carrier Strike Groups routinely deploy to the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean", according to a Navy statement. Diplomatically, it was widely perceived as a message to North Korea; Pyongyang regularly threatens to attack the United States, and intelligence analysts warn that it is near to developing missile-capable nuclear warheads.

During talks with President Xi in Beijing last Thursday, Trump had urged the Chinese leader to do more to rein in the Pyongyang regime, warning that "time is quickly running out".

North Korean state-run Korean Central News Agency said on Saturday that the presence of US aircraft carriers was part of the United States' "sinister intention to maintain military hegemony in the region", CNN reported.

"The exercise is aimed at enhancing deterrence against North Korea's nuclear and missile threats and showing off preparedness to fend off any provocative acts by the North", a South Korean defence ministry spokesman said. "Nobody knows when and how the "war maniac" Trump will ignite the "wick of war, '" officials told CNN's Will Ripley".

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