13 Mar '18, 6pm

US, Japan kick off bilateral exercises in disputed South China Sea

The USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier strike group has kicked off bilateral exercises with the Maritime Self-Defense Force, including one of the largest vessels in Japan’s fleet, in the disputed South China Sea, the U.S. Navy said Tuesday. The Navy, which said the Carl Vinson was on a “regularly scheduled deployment in the Western Pacific,” said the aircraft carrier and the guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer were conducting combined operations with the MSDF’s Ise helicopter destroyer as part of drills aimed at bolstering maritime interoperability between the long-standing allies. The Navy said the exercises kicked off Sunday as both ships transited the South China Sea. This didn’t mean the two navies would remain in the same location for the duration of the exercise, Lt. Cmdr. Tim Hawkins, a spokesman for the Vinson strike group, told The Japan Times, adding that h...

Full article: https://www.stripes.com/news/pacific/us-japan-kick-off-bi...

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