In the midst of persistent tensions in the region with China, the US Navy organized a drill together with Japanese allies. They displayed two aircraft carriers, two amphibious boats, and many fighter jets.
USS Carl Vinson (CVN-72) and USS Abraham Lincoln(CVN-72) were the supercarriers that led drill. They were flanked at sea by amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA-6) and USS Essex. Along with 26 other aircraft and destroyers USS Chafee, USS Spruance and USS Gridley (DDG-101) took part in this drill.
Japan assisted the drill by providing its destroyer, JS Hyuga(DDH-181).
Karl Thomas Vice Admiral, commander of US 7th Fleet called it the “show of strength”. “freedom at its finest,” and claimed that nothing reaffirms Washington’s commitment to a free and open Indo Pacific like two carrier strike groups and two amphibious ready groups “sailing alongside our close friends from the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force.”
This drill took place in the Philippine Sea which also includes waters east and south of Taiwan. This drill is the biggest of its type since the US, UK and Japan conducted a large exercise southeast Okinawa last Oct.
China conducted its own military stunt in the region on Sunday, alarming Taiwan with a flyby of 39 aircraft, including a bomber, which were accused of entering the island’s Air Defense Identification Zone. China has been using such flybys as a means of sending a signal that it does not recognize Taiwan’s claims of independence.
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