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Five U.S. Aircraft Carriers to Operate in the Indo-Pacific This Year

For the first time in history, the United States has deployed five aircraft carriers to operate in a single region, the Indo-Pacific, in response to escalating military activities by China and North Korea.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — The United States plans to deploy five of its 11 aircraft carriers to operate in the Indo-Pacific waters this year to address the escalation of military activities by China and North Korea.

 Currently, three U.S. aircraft carriers are already stationed in the Indo-Pacific, with two more set to sail to the region shortly.

“This marks the first time in history that five aircraft carriers will be operating in a single region.”

According to the Fleet and Marine Tracker of the US Naval Institute as of February 5th, the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln has already left its base in San Diego, California, heading for the western Pacific Ocean.

Additionally, another aircraft carrier, the USS George Washington, will be deployed to the Indo-Pacific to replace the USS Ronald Reagan, which will depart Yokosuka, Japan, for routine maintenance at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Washington.

Carl Vinson
Kapal pengangkut pesawat USS Carl Vinson.

 

The USS George Washington is the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier deployed to Japan, where it served from 2008 until 2015 before being replaced by the USS Ronald Reagan.

The other two U.S. aircraft carriers, the USS Carl Vinson and USS Theodore Roosevelt, are based in Guam and Hawaii respectively, and are expected to be in the Indo-Pacific until April and July.

Last month, the USS Theodore Roosevelt and USS Carl Vinson participated in maritime exercises in the Philippine Sea, covering maritime communication operations, air warfare operations, and cross-deck flight operations.

According to the United States Navy’s 7th Fleet, the exercise aimed to “strengthen integrated operations at sea and readiness.”

“We are more capable when we operate together in addressing maritime security challenges,” stated Commander Christopher Alexander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group Nine.

Ronald Reagan
USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76).

 

In January, the USS Carl Vinson conducted maritime exercises with South Korean and Japanese warships in the East China Sea, following North Korea’s launch of a medium-range ballistic missile.

“Aircraft carriers are the most visible military assets. Deploying multiple carriers to a region sends a clear signal to adversaries,” according to Brian Hart, a fellow with the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“Following the conflict in Ukraine, turmoil in the Middle East, and Houthi militia attacks in the Red Sea, the United States wants to signal its capability to address all challenges while maintaining focus on its priorities in the Indo-Pacific.” – DSA

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