Published: Wed, November 15, 2017
World | By Melba Underwood

Three US Navy Carriers Conduct Joint Exercises

Three US Navy Carriers Conduct Joint Exercises

US military aircraft practice touch-and-go maneuvers on the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier during an exercise in the Sea of Japan on November 13.

It is the first time three of the 100,000-ton behemoths have sailed together in the Western Pacific together in a decade.

President Donald Trump has said "all options are on the table" concerning North Korea.

But Pyongyang has seen any U.S. military exercises as a threat.

Tensions between the USA and North Korea have been sharply escalating in recent months with both sides indicating that they will not hesitate to engage in military action.

Pyongyang's drills are expected to begin in December and are likely to proceed till April, while the South Korean military keeps a close watch on all the developments in the region.

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

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Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon that "this is what we normally do with allies".

One of the three carriers reportedly entered the KTO on Saturday, while the two others will arrive on Sunday afternoon after a joint drill with Japan. Exercises closest to the Korean coast involved USA and South Korean ships, while those closest to Japan involved United States and Japanese ships, the official said.

It marks the first time that three US aircraft carriers conduct joint exercises with South Korea's Navy.

"The JMSDF is always using every opportunity to strengthen the JMSDF-USN alliance, and joining an exercise like this is a natural event to stabilize regional security", a statement from the Maritime Self-Defense Force said.

Following the bilateral JMSDF-US Navy exercise, the carriers strike groups linked up with seven Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) warships including two Aegis guided missile destroyers for war games meant to deter North Korea.

"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.

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