Two U.S. carriers have left waters near the Korean Peninsula following joint exercises, according to a statement from the U.S. Pacific Fleet issued on Tuesday.
The USS Carl Vinson and the USS Ronald Reagan were previously both deployed near the DPRK, with the former’s dispatch to East Asia making headlines around the world.
“The operations between the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) in the Sea of Japan have concluded,” Lieutenant Commander Matt Knight from the U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs Office told NK News.
“While I won’t discuss the future schedules of our vessels, I can confirm that Reagan is continuing their previously scheduled patrol in the Western Pacific and Vinson has begun the transit back to the United States for the conclusion of the deployment.”
The Ronald Reagan is part of the Navy’s Seventh Fleet which is permanently based in the Asia Pacific. Prior to the joint exercises, the aircraft carrier was undergoing maintenance and refurbishment in Japan.
The news follows recent reports that another U.S. aircraft carrier was headed into the Pacific. A U.S. Navy statement issued on June 2 said the USS Nimitz had begun its deployment, though did not mention North Korea, instead saying the move was a regular, scheduled deployment unrelated to any particular regional event.
“USS Nimitz (CVN 68) Carrier Strike Group just started their deployment and is currently operating in the vicinity of the U.S. West Coast,” Knight told NK News.
The Nimitz is part of the third fleet which also operates in Pacific and “constantly coordinates with U.S. 7th Fleet to plan and execute missions based on their complementary strengths,” according to the press release announcing the carrier’s deployment.
Although the two carrier groups have left seas near the Korean Peninsula, on Monday the Commander of U.S. Naval Forces Korea (CNFK) announced the arrival of nuclear-powered fast attack submarine the USS Cheyenne (SSN 773) in South Korea’s Busan port.
Similar to Nimitz, the submarine’s arrival is part of a previously scheduled visit. It is the third nuclear-powered submarine to arrive in the area since March.
Edited by Oliver Hotham
Featured Image: USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) transits the South China Sea. by Official U.S. Navy Imagery on 2017-03-06 09:51:19