As tensions continue to rise between the United States and Kim Jong un’s North Korean regime, war remains a distinct, though unlikely, possibility. Open warfare on the Korean peninsula would spell disaster for many of the citizens living in South Korea, and could potential embroil the United States in yet another nation-building quagmire, once Kim was no longer at the helm of the reclusive state.
Despite its unlikelihood, ever more aggressive rhetoric between North Korean and American leaders may eventually push those tensions past their breaking point, where war is no longer a possibility, but rather, a tragic reality. If that day comes, it will likely be U.S. Navy assets, escorted by sister ships from Japan and South Korea, that would fire the first volley of Tomahawk missiles into the closed border of Kim’s nation, raining down death and destruction on missile and artillery platforms already identified by U.S. and South Korean intelligence.
A single Nimitz class aircraft carrier possesses more firepower and personnel than some nations’ entire armies, but these behemoths rarely travel alone. Anywhere you spot a carrier, you’ll likely see some Arleigh Burke class missile destroyers, cruisers, and maybe even a submarine or two steaming alongside, but in some circumstances, even an entire U.S. Navy carrier strike group isn’t enough to get your point across.
That’s when joint naval exercises like last year’s Foal Eagle, shown in the video below, come into play. In this video, the USS Carl Vinson carrier strike group is joined by warships from the South Korean Navy, in a massive show of force intended not only to serve as a message for America’s potential enemies, but to give the two nations the opportunity to develop and hone their interoperability before they ever have to a fire a round, or missile, in anger.
Watch the video below:
Image courtesy of YouTube