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"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. The aerial formation consists of aircraft from the carrier strike groups as well as Air Force aircraft.

The carriers involved are the USS Ronald Reagan, based in Japan; the USS Theodore Roosevelt, based in San Diego, USA, and the USS Nimitz, based at Naval Base Kitsap at Bremerton, Washington.

He mentioned that this type of operation is very complex.

He said of the North Korean threats to strike the US and its allies, "That would be a fatal miscalculation".

Three U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier strike groups will conduct joint drills in the Pacific for the first time in a decade.

The units that have been assigned the strike force will conduct coordinated operations in worldwide waters to demonstrate the United States Navy's unique potential to operate multiple carrier strike groups as a coordinated strike force effort, according to the official website of the Commander, U.S. 7 Fleet.

President Trump stood on the floor of the Unite Nations General Assembly several weeks ago and threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea, repeatedly insinuating the only way to deal with North Korea is through military force.

The last time three U.S. 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.

Such a move is widely interpreted as a show of force against North Korea's nuclear threats and China's assertiveness in the South China Sea.

Just days ahead of Trump's visit to Japan, the first stop on his Asia tour, the USA sent two B-1B heavy bombers from Andersen Air Force Base on Guam for bilateral missions with South Korean Air Force fighter jets and Air Self-Defense Force warplanes.

Defense hawks in Congress have long sought more missile defense funding as North Korea advances it nuclear and missile capabilities.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, on a trip late last month to South Korea, was at pains to stress that diplomacy was America's preferred course to get North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.

Nuclear-armed North Korea has lashed out at the military muscle-flexing, which it calls a rehearsal for invasion. This is a very different administration than the US has had in the past.


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