The strike groups – USS Ronald Reagan (CVN76), USS Nimitz (CVN 68), and USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) will commence a three-carrier strike force exercise in the Western Pacific this weekend. The drills would take place from Nov. 11 to Nov.14.

This is the first time in a decade three carrier strike groups will operate together and the event is coinciding with President Donald Trump’s Asia visit, the Japan Times reported. 

The units that have been assigned the strike force will conduct coordinated operations in international 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. 7th Fleet.

“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. He added, “Multiple carrier strike force operations are very complex, and this exercise in the Western Pacific is a strong testament to the U.S. Pacific’s ability and ironclad commitment to the continued security and stability of the region.”

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. A decade ago, Valiant Shield  (VS) 2006 and 2007  had operated together off the coast of Guam, a U.S. island territory in Micronesia, and focused on the ability to bring together forces from all the three strike groups in response to any regional situation. Ronald Reagan participated in VS 2006 while Nimitz took part in VS 2007. The exercise included 30 ships, more than 280 aircraft and more than 20,000 service members from the Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.

Recently, the U.S. Navy aircraft carriers conducted dual carrier strike group operations in the Western Pacific region that included the South China Sea, East China Sea, and the Philippine Sea. These opportunities typically come about when the strikes groups deployed to the 7th Fleet area of operations from the West Coast of the U.S. are coupled with the forward deployed carrier strike group from Japan, said the report on the official website of the Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet .  

The U.S. Pacific Fleet has a determined and steady presence throughout the region, conducting operations for more than 70 years now. It is committed to maintain the security commitments for the next 70 years, the report added.

The strike exercise has come up amidst growing tensions on the Korean Peninsula over Pyongyang’s nuclear arms and ballistic missile programs.

During his recent visit to Seoul, Trump said, “ North Korea is not the paradise your grandfather envisioned. It is a hell that no person deserves," the CNN reported. 

Trump though tried to avoid his earlier threats to North Korea, was clear in his vows to counter aggravations with military force, according to the CNN.

He said of the North Korean threats to strike the U.S. and its allies, “That would be a fatal miscalculation. This is a very different administration than the U.S. has had in the past. Do not underestimate us. And do not try us.”