US and Japanese fleets join forces at East China Sea

Japanese warships join American fleet. (Japan MoD)
Japanese warships join American fleet. (Japan MoD)

Warships of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force will sail together with ships of the American Third Fleet as soon as the US armada enters the East China Sea.

After abruptly hanging a rather quick U-ie while heading to some long needed shore leave in Australia, the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) and her battle group, officially known as the U.S. Navy’s Carrier Strike Group 1, consists not only of the super-carrier Vinson, but also of the following commands;

  • The powerful guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57)
  • The “Greyhounds of the Sea” Destroyer Squadron 1
  • The ‘Black Knights’ of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 4
  • The ‘Blue Hawks’ of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 78
  • The ‘Bounty Hunters’ of Strike Fighter Squadron 2
  • The ‘Blue Blasters’ of VFA-34
  • The ‘Kestrels’ of VFA-137
  • The ‘Golden Dragons’ of VFA-192
  • The ‘Black Eagles’ of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 113
  • The ‘Gauntlets’ of Electronic Attack Squadron 136
  • The ‘Providers’ of Fleet Logistic Support Squadron 30

But this certainly isn’t an American-only affair. Walter Sim of the Singapore Straights Times reports that a Japanese fleet of destroyers will be joining Carrier Strike Group 1 to protect against any more North Korean saber rattling;

Japanese and American navies are planning joint drills when United States warships arrive in the Korean peninsula this month, in a show of force to deter Pyongyang from further provocations.

The drills will involve helicopter landings on each other’s ships as well as communication exercises, two sources told Reuters.

A US naval strike force, led by the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, is en route to the Korean peninsula and due to arrive soon.

“Japan wants to dispatch several destroyers as the Carl Vinson enters the East China Sea,” one of the sources was quoted as saying.

The upcoming foray of the US warship into waters in North Korea’s backyard has led Pyongyang to declare it is ready for war.

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