Three-Carrier Strike Force Exercise to Commence in Western Pacific

Marie Harrington
November 10, 2017

DONALD Trump has ordered the "three largest aircraft carriers in the world" to Kim Jong-un's doorstep in the biggest Western Pacific strike force drill for a decade.

It is the first time since 2007 that the Navy has carried out this type of exercise in the western Pacific. The Reuters report added that a Japanese destroyer, the Inazuma, will join the U.S. maneuvers.

Reuters was not aware of any plans for Trump to visit the carriers.

The exercise, which will take place as President Trump continues his 11-day trip to Asia, will start on Saturday and continue through Tuesday. Ronald Reagan participated in VS 2006 while Nimitz took part in VS 2007.

The U.S. 7th Fleet, which announced the exercise yesterday, have said it will demonstrate its resolve with allies Japan and South Korea. This is a very different administration than the US has had in the past.

Such large-scale drills serve as a potent reminder of the US ability to rapidly mobilize military force, a capability the Trump administration has been keen to emphasize as Pyongyang races ahead with tests to build a nuclear-tipped missile capable of striking the United States.

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The units that have been assigned the strike force will conduct coordinated operations in global waters to demonstrate the United States Navy's unique potential to operate multiple carrier strike groups as a coordinated strike force effort, according to the official website of the Commander, U.S. 7 Fleet.

A defense source said the three carriers will convene at sea relatively close to the Korean Peninsula.

Singapore-based military expert Tim Huxley said the presence of the US carriers still sent an unmistakable message, with each one carrying 70-odd aircraft.

In a commentary Monday, North Korean state-run media said that "that no one can predict when the lunatic old man of the White House, lost to senses, will start a nuclear war against the DPRK".

Addressing the North Korea crisis, the US President tweeted: "NoKo has interpreted America's past restraint as weakness".

"It's a message to China to do more to pressure the North", said Shim Beom-chul, a professor of defense and unification issues at the Korea National Diplomatic Academy in Seoul.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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