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'Rare opportunity': Pentagon confirms joint drill of 3 aircraft carriers in Pacific

10 November 2017

The presence of three aircraft carrier strike groups in the area was also mentioned in President Donald Trump's speech in South Korea, the second leg of his five-nation tour of Asia that drew both supporters and anti-war protesters.

The U.S. has sent a number of its so-called strategic assets to the area - including carriers, heavy bombers and high-tech submarines - as part of a concerted push to heap pressure on North Korea to rein in its nuclear and missile programs.

YOKOSUKA/November 8, 2017 (NNS)(STL.News) - The USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) strike groups will commence a three-carrier strike force exercise in the Western Pacific, Nov. 11-14.

The regime added that Trump's very visit to South Korea was meant to "light the fuse for a nuclear war".

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The last time three USA carrier strike groups exercised together was in 2007, when the Nimitz, along with the John C. Stennis and Kitty Hawk carrier strike groups participated in drills near Guam.

"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, Adm. Scott Swift.

Units assigned to the strike force will conduct coordinated operations in worldwide waters in order to demonstrate the U.S. Navy's unique capability to operate multiple carrier strike groups as a coordinated strike force effort.

Given the close geographical proximity and longstanding diplomatic ties, war with North Korea would nearly inevitably lead to war with China, another nuclear armed state. The aerial formation consists of aircraft from the carrier strike groups as well as Air Force aircraft.

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An official from the South Korean military said the strike groups were planning to hold joint military exercises with Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force on Saturday and Sunday, after which they will train with the South Korean Navy on Monday and Tuesday.

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

Still, he warned Pyongyang that its military was no match for the U.S.

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'Rare opportunity': Pentagon confirms joint drill of 3 aircraft carriers in Pacific