Second US aircraft carrier enters western Pacific amid North Korea tensions

A second U.S. Navy aircraft carrier strike group entered the western Pacific, the Navy’s 7th fleet announced Tuesday, amid an increasing war of words between the United States and North Korea.

USS Theodore Roosevelt – the “Big Stick” – left its San Diego home port earlier this month on a scheduled deployment to the West Pacific and Persian Gulf. It will now join the USS Ronald Reagan strike group off the Korean Peninsula.

The carrier is expected to make its way to the Persian Gulf to relieve the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz.

“Entering 7th Fleet is an exciting opportunity to integrate with other U.S. Navy units in the [area of operations], as well as operate with our partners and allies in the region,” said Rear Adm. Steve Koehler in a statement. “We look forward to continued partnerships that lead to mutual security and common views about operating at sea.”

It is rare to have two U.S. Navy aircraft carriers stationed in the region.

The last time it happened was back in June when the Carl Vinson and Reagan strike groups were together for a few days in the Peninsula for training purposes – but it marked the first time since the 1990s that two U.S. carriers were near the Korean Peninsula. read more…