The USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) carrier strike groups will commence a massive three-carrier show of force exercise off the coast of the Korean peninsula on Saturday. The drills, which coincide with President Trump’s Indo-Pacific tour, will demonstrate America’s unique ability to conduct multiple-carrier operations in the open seas, something few nations even have the necessary equipment to attempt.
America’s Nimitz class aircraft carriers are among the largest and most powerful in the world, second only to America’s latest carrier, the Ford Class, that the Navy took delivery of in May of this year. Each Nimitz class carrier measures more than a thousand feet long and displaces 97,000 tons of water. With a crew compliment that can exceed 5,000 and an average of 60 or so aircraft on board, one Nimitz class carrier is a formidable threat to any of our nation’s enemies. Seeing one of these behemoths in person can be daunting enough, watching three of them with accompanying compliment of destroyers, cruisers, and submarines, could be downright frightening.
Of course, that’s part of the intent of the drills, as there is little doubt that North Korea’s Supreme Leader, Kim Jong Un, will be watching the massive ships closely as they conduct exercises over the coming days. Of course, America’s carrier fleet is the largest in the world, but it is still extremely uncommon to see them in groups. In fact, this is the first time three carriers have come together anywhere in the world since 2007, in Exercise Valiant Shield off the coast of Guam.
“It is a rare opportunity to train with two aircraft carriers together, and even rarer to be able to train with three,” said U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander, Adm. Scott Swift. “Multiple carrier strike force operations are very complex, and this exercise in the Western Pacific is a strong testament to the U.S. Pacific Fleet’s unique ability and ironclad commitment to the continued security and stability of the region.”