US Aircraft Carriers to Start Joint Exercise in Western Pacific

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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.

The last time such drills were held was during the Valiant Shield exercises in 2006 and 2007, which took place off the coast of the USA territory of Guam, which hosts two US military bases, and aimed to develop the ability for the three strike groups to quickly work together should it become necessary.

This will be the first time since 2007 that three carrier strike groups operate together in the Western Pacific.

"It is a rare opportunity to train with two aircraft carriers together, and even rarer to be able to train three", said Admiral Scott Swift, the U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander.

Since taking office, Trump has vowed to expand the fleet of US carriers, even as some military strategists and experts believe the massive ships would be increasingly vulnerable to modern Chinese and Russian weapons in any conflict.

"While at sea, the strike force plans to conduct air defense drills, sea surveillance, replenishments at sea, defensive air combat training, close-in coordinated maneuvers and other training", said the statement.

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Three United States aircraft carriers are set to perform rare drills starting Saturday in the Western Pacific, in the midst of the North Korean crisis, and coinciding with the Asia tour of the American president, the US Navy said Thursday.

The U.S. Pacific Fleet has a determined and steady presence throughout the region, conducting operations for more than 70 years now.

White House officials say the president intends to press China, North Korea's closest ally and top trading partner, to push the North to abandon its nuclear program.

The move is widely seen as a push by Washington to demonstrate its commitment to its allies in the region, including Japan, amid the uptick in tensions with North Korea.

As we approach the 99th anniversary marking the end of the War to End All Wars, it is clear that the U.S.is preparing for World War III.

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