- The carriers will be accompanied by several surface warships and two submarines
- The training is expected to last only a few days, a defense official said
Washington (CNN)Two US Navy aircraft carriers are expected to begin training together as soon as Wednesday in the Sea of Japan, for a few days in what US military officials say may be interpreted by North Korea as a signal of a more aggressive US military posture.
The current schedule calls for the USS Carl Vinson and USS Ronald Reagan, along with other warships, to move into the south central area of the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea, a US defense official told CNN.
While the training location is hundreds of miles off the Korean Peninsula, “how can we say it’s not sending a message?” the official said.
The carriers will be accompanied by several surface warships and two submarines. The training is expected to last only a few days, the official said. While two carriers do not often operate together, it is not unprecedented, US officials say.
The training period is expected only to last a few days because the Vinson is scheduled to begin its return to its homeport in San Diego. Later this week, the USS Nimitz is scheduled to leave its home port in Bremerton, Washington, for its deployment period. It is expected to pass through the Pacific region on its way to the Persian Gulf.
Several US officials insist that all three carriers will not be operating near North Korea at the same time. The Nimitz will first stop along the West Coast to pick up its full airwing of jets before heading out to sea. The Vinson is expected to be well on its way back to the West Coast.
Once in the Pacific, the Nimitz could be tasked with various training missions, but is not expected at this time to operate near North Korea. Either the Nimitz or Reagan could also be ordered to operate in the South China Sea area.