Aircraft Carrier Groups Take Part in Joint US- S. Korean Maritime Drills

The USS Ronald Reagan, USS Nimitz and USS Theodore Roosevelt are putting on a rare display of sea and air power as President Donald Trump conducts a diplomatic tour of Asian countries.

The US Pacific Fleet published aerial footage on November 12 that was described as showing part of what the US Navy described as a "rare" maritime exercise involving three aircraft carriers.

"The goal of the drill in worldwide 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 four-day drill began Sunday, and it gives the three carrier strike groups an unusual opportunity to train together as an integrated unit alongside allied South Korean and Japanese forces. Exercises closest to the Korean coast involved US and South Korean ships, while those closest to Japan involved USA and Japanese ships, the official said.

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Officials point out Navy aircraft carriers more recently have conducted dual-carrier strike group operations in the Western Pacific including in the South China Sea, East China Sea and Philippine Sea. The MSDF said it is "using every opportunity" to strengthen ties between the two navies, the Japan Times reports.

The KTO is a theater for military operations near the Korean Peninsula, which is designated by the commander of combined forces of South Korea and the United States.

Although Japan had agreed to a USA plan to stage a tripartite exercise with South Korea, it did not materialize because of the schedule of South Korean forces, according to sources in the Japanese government.

"The United States Navy is the only force in the world able to carry out such an exercise", a Navy official told DoD News. "The U.S. efforts to expand its military influence in Asia-Pacific and the movement of big neighboring powers to contain it escalate the military tension and increase arms race in the region with each passing day", it said.

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