U.S. deployments around North Korea
Three U.S. aircraft carrier strike groups are taking part in a combined exercise for the first time in a decade, providing the U.S. with a powerful force, in striking distance of North Korea.
The U.S. Air Force has announced that for the first time it will send a squadron of a dozen F-35A stealth fighter jets to Kadena Air Base in Japan, while submarines, including nuclear cruise missile submarine USS Michigan, have been dispatched to Korean waters.
The U.S. military recently revealed that it had increased its stockpile of munitions in Guam by some 10 percent. The island is a fuel and ammunition storage area for the U.S. military in the Pacific region and would play a central role in a conflict with North Korea.
Preparing for What Comes Next in North Korea
- By moving carrier strike groups and stealth fighter jets into the region, the United States will enhance its force posture in and around North Korea.
- The preparations do not necessarily suggest that the United States is getting ready to launch a war — though they will elevate the risk in the region.
- Tracking U.S. military movements around the Korean Peninsula will offer insight into the standoff between Washington and Pyongyang.
Navy will carry out rare 3-carrier exercise in Sea of Japan
- The U.S. Navy has announced that it will carry out a rare exercise this weekend in the western Pacific involving three aircraft carriers.
- The exercise will take place in the Sea of Japan east of the Korean peninsula and is intended to send a message to North Korea of America’s security commitments in the region.
- It is the first time since 2007 that the U.S. Navy has carried out such an exercise in the western Pacific; that exercise occurred off the coast of Guam.
3 US carriers are now in the Pacific amid tensions with North Korea
- The US Navy announced on Wednesday that the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier had left the Middle East, where it was conducting operations against ISIS, and heading to the Pacific on a previously scheduled visit.
- The Nimitz will join two other US aircraft carriers, the USS Ronald Reagan and the USS Theodore Roosevelt, amid ongoing tensions with North Korea.
- The last time three carriers were together in the Pacific was in June, and Navy Cmdr. Ron Flanders said it was rather unusual to have three carriers in the Pacific theatre.