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U.S. Navy Deploys Three Supercarriers to Western Pacific Amid Tensions

In a significant show of force, three U.S. Navy supercarriers have been deployed to the Western Pacific this week.

This unusual concentration of naval power comes as tensions escalate between China and Taiwan, as well as with U.S. treaty allies Japan and the Philippines.

The deployment aims to enhance cooperative operations between American and Japanese forces.

Uncommon Peacetime Deployment

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The presence of multiple supercarriers in the region during peacetime highlights the seriousness of the situation and the importance of joint exercises.

Supercarriers in the Western Pacific

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The USS Theodore Roosevelt and USS Carl Vinson, both Nimitz-class supercarriers, were spotted east of Taiwan and northeast of the Philippines, according to the U.S. Naval Institute News’ fleet tracker.

Additional Naval Asset

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The USS America, a forward-deployed amphibious assault ship capable of serving as a light aircraft carrier, is also operating in the area.

USS Ronald Reagan at Home Port

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The USS Ronald Reagan, another forward-deployed Nimitz-class carrier, remains at its home port of Yokosuka, Japan. This brings the total number of U.S. flattops in the region to four.

Current Locations

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As of Wednesday, the USS Carl Vinson and USS Theodore Roosevelt were positioned in international waters southeast of the Miyako Strait and west of Taiwan, according to tracking data from the South China Sea Probing Initiative.

Bilateral Exercise with Japan

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Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) announced its Hyuga-class helicopter carrier, the JS Ise, was participating in a bilateral exercise with the two supercarriers. The exercise aims to improve tactical capabilities and interoperability.

Rare Joint Operations

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Joint operations with multiple U.S. carriers and the JMSDF are infrequent, with the last similar drill occurring in November.

Strengthening Maritime Cooperation

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The exercise includes enhanced maritime communication operations, air warfare operations, and cross-deck flight operations to enhance maritime integrated-at-sea operations and combat readiness.

Escalating Territorial Disputes

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The deployment comes amid increasing territorial disputes in the region.

China’s Permanent Warship Deployment

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China has strategically stationed four warships in waters around Taiwan. China claims Taiwan as its territory, although it has never governed the self-ruled island.

Incident Near Scarborough Shoal

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China’s coast guard reported chasing off four Philippine nationals who entered China’s Huangyan Island, also known as Scarborough Shoal, for illegal activities. The atoll has been a traditional fishing ground for multiple nations, leading to disputes.

Senkaku Islands Encounter

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Chinese coast guard vessels “warned off” Japanese fishing and patrol boats near the Senkaku Islands, which are controlled by Japan and covered by the U.S.-Japan mutual defense treaty.

USS John Finn Transits Taiwan Strait

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Last week, the USS John Finn destroyer sailed through the Taiwan Strait, marking the U.S. Navy’s first transit of the waterway this year. China criticized the U.S. for provocative actions that it believes undermine regional peace and stability.

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