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US to launch three-carrier drill in western Pacific

IANS  |  Washington 

Three US aircraft carriers will perform rare drills starting on Saturday in the western Pacific in the midst of the North Korean crisis, the US Navy announced on Thursday.

The nuclear-powered USS Ronald Reagan, USS Nimitz and USS Theodore Roosevelt will conduct the drills to show the US Navy's unique capability to operate multi-carrier strike groups, the US Navy's Seventh Fleet said in a statement released from its headquarters at the Japanese base of Yokosuka.

The aircraft will conduct coordinated operations in international waters "to demonstrate the US Navy's unique capability to operate multiple carrier strike groups as a coordinated strike force effort.

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

During the drill, the first of its kind in a decade, the warships will carry out air strike and defence simulations, maritime surveillance, sea supply, coordinated fenced manoeuvres and other training, reports Efe news.

It is the first time that three aircraft carriers are conducting drills together in the western Pacific since the Valiant Shield exercises in 2006 and 2007 off the coast of the island of Guam.

The drills, rare due to the complexity of the ships' action coordination, will last until November 14.

The drills will begin during the final leg of US President Donald Trump's five-nation Asia tour amid mounting tension with North Korea in the wake of Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programmes development.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, November 09 2017. 12:34 IST