United States to stage drill with three carriers as Trump visits Asia

3 US aircraft carriers to conduct simultaneous maritime drill in the Pacific in massive show of force

3 US aircraft carriers to conduct simultaneous maritime drill in the Pacific in massive show of force

According to a statement by U.S. seventh Fleet, the USS Ronald Reagan, USS Nimitz and USS Theodore Roosevelt strike groups will conduct coordinated operations in global waters "to demonstrate the U.S. Navy's unique capability to operate multiple carrier strike groups as a coordinated strike force effort". In recent months, U.S. Navy carriers have conducted dual-carrier strike group exercises in the Western Pacific, including in the contested South China Sea, East China Sea and Philippine Sea.

The last time three carrier strike groups operated together in the Western Pacific was during exercises Valiant Shield 2006 and 2007, which were off the coast of Guam. The aerial formation consists of aircraft from the carrier strike groups as well as Air Force aircraft.

"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.

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

The drill will include the USS Nimitz, the Ronald Reagan, the Theodore Roosevelt and their accompanying warships, the first time three U.S. aircraft carrier strike groups have exercised together in the region in a decade.

The statement did not rule out North Korea, who previously threatened to fire ballistic missiles off Guam, an American island in the Western Pacific, which hosts strategic USA military bases.

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During his recent visit to Seoul, Trump said, " North Korea is not the paradise your grandfather envisioned.

This massive show of military force is taking place during the US President's 12-day Asia tour amid heightened tensions with North Korea.

The CIA has said North Korea could be only months away from developing the ability to hit the United States with nuclear weapons, a scenario Trump has vowed to prevent.

North Korea has repeatedly complained about American naval exercises in the region, but it has sparked worldwide condemnation with repeated tests of missiles and nuclear weapons.

"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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