Three U.S. military aircraft carriers are heading to the same part of the world at the same time, to take part in a rare military exercise not seen in a decade.
The USS Ronald Reagan, based in Japan; the USS Theodore Roosevelt, based in San Diego; and the USS Nimitz, based at Naval Base Kitsap at Bremerton, Washington, will commence the strike force exercise in the Western Pacific Saturday through next Tuesday.
Units assigned to the strike force will conduct coordinated operations in international waters to demonstrate the U.S. Navy’s unique capability to operate multiple carrier strike groups as a coordinated strike force effort.
The three aircraft carriers are expected to link up in the Sea of Japan later this week off the Korean Peninsula, a U.S. defense official tells Fox News.
“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.
“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.”
While at sea, the strike force plans to conduct air defense drills, sea surveillance, replenishments at sea, defensive air combat training, close-in coordinated manoeuvres, and other training.
This is the first time that three carrier strike groups have operated together in the Western Pacific since exercises Valiant Shield 2006 and 2007 off the coast of Guam.