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2 US carriers conduct exercises with Japanese flattop near Taiwan

JMSDF helicopter destroyer JS Ise drilling with USS Carl Vinson, USS Theodore Roosevelt

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(US 7th Fleet photo)

(US 7th Fleet photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Two U.S. aircraft carrier strike groups are conducting exercises with a Japanese big-deck warship near Taiwan.

According to a Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) press release on Wednesday (Jan.31), the Japanese military has been carrying out bilateral drills with the U.S. Navy (USN) to "strengthen the capability of Japan-U.S. Alliance for effective deterrence and response." The mission objectives were listed as improving the JMSDF's tactical capabilities and improving interoperability between Japan's naval forces and the USN.

The period for the exercises was slated for Monday through Thursday (Jan. 29-Feb. 1) south of Okinawa.

2 US carriers conduct exercises with Japanese flattop near Taiwan
(X, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force photo)

The participating vessels included the JMSDF helicopter destroyer JS Ise (DDH-182), the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70), the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), and nine other naval ships. In a Wednesday X post, the JMSDF said it was a "precious opportunity" and the first time such exercises were conducted with two USN carriers since November.

The U.S. 7th Fleet said the Multi-Large Deck Event was taking place in the Philippine Sea "in accordance with international law in international waters." Rear Admiral Carlos Sardiello said, “The U.S. and Japan are uniquely capable of rapidly assembling multiple large-deck naval forces in support of mutual security interests in the Indo-Pacific."

2 US carriers conduct exercises with Japanese flattop near Taiwan
(X, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force photo)

The U.S. 7th Fleet said the exercises included "air defense drills, sea surveillance, cross-deck exercises and tactical maneuvers to advance unique high-end warfighting capability." The fleet said these drills are part of the USN's "routine presence" in the Indo-Pacific and it along with U.S. partners and allies are "indispensable to ensuring maritime security and the flow of unimpeded lawful commerce in the region."

According to the USNI New Fleet and Marine Tracker last updated on Monday, the carriers were located to the southeast of Taiwan in the Philippine Sea. Naval enthusiast MT Anderson noted that on Flightradar24, two Grumman C-2 Greyhounds, which are cargo planes used to ferry supplies to U.S. carriers were detected to the northeast of Taiwan on Wednesday.

2 US carriers conduct exercises with Japanese flattop near Taiwan
(X, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force photo)

2 US carriers conduct exercises with Japanese flattop near Taiwan
(X, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force photo)