U.S. to Send Carrier for Joint Exercises Off KoreaNaval Readiness Exercise Announced
By DAVID E. SANGER and MARK McDONALD
Published: November 24, 2010
WASHINGTON — President Obama and South Korea’s president agreed Tuesday night to hold joint military exercises as a first response to North Korea’s deadly shelling of a South Korean military installation, as both countries struggled for the second time this year to keep a North Korean provocation from escalating into war.
The exercise will include sending the aircraft carrier George Washington and a number of accompanying ships into the region, both to deter further attacks by the North and to signal to China that unless it reins in its unruly ally it will see an even larger American presence in the vicinity.
Story Number: NNS101124-01 Release Date: 11/24/2010
By 7th Fleet Public Affairs Office
YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- The USS George Washington carrier strike group will join Republic of Korea (ROK) naval forces in the waters west of the Korean peninsula from Nov. 28 to Dec. 1 to conduct the next exercise in the series announced at the 2+2 meetings in July
This exercise is defensive in nature. While planned well before yesterday's unprovoked artillery attack, it demonstrates the strength of the ROK-U.S. Alliance and our commitment to regional stability through deterrence. It is also designed to improve our military interoperability.
U.S. Navy ships scheduled to participate include the USS George Washington (CVN 73) with an embarked carrier air wing (CVW 5), USS Cowpens (CG 62), USS Lassen (DDG 89), USS Stethem (DDG 63), USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62).
U.S. and allied operations are built on an already strong foundation of cooperation and this exercise is intended to further enhance interoperability. The U.S. and ROK forces will conduct air defense and surface warfare readiness training.
The U.S. Navy routinely operates in the waters off the Korean peninsula and has conducted numerous operations and exercises in this area. In October 2009 the George Washington strike group conducted similar operations in the international waters west of the Korean peninsula. U.S. aircraft carriers frequently visit the Korean peninsula and conduct port visits in Busan; such as USS George Washington in 2010, USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)in March 2009, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and USS George Washington in 2008.
Read more: http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=57375
Compromise on drill by U.S., KoreaTo calm China, joint exercises with aircraft carrier will be done in East Sea
Joon Gang Daily
July 16, 2010
South Korea and the United States will push ahead with a joint naval exercise to warn North Korea against making attacks on the South, officials in Seoul and Washington said.
But a defense ministry official told the JoongAng Ilbo that the two countries have arrived at a compromise to avoid angering China, which objected to the exercise being held in the Yellow Sea near its own territorial waters.“We will hold drills in both the Yellow Sea and the East Sea,”
the official said.
In addition, the U.S.S. George Washington, a U.S. Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, will participate in the exercise in the East Sea, not the Yellow Sea
, the source said.
“The first stage of the drill will take place in the East Sea with the aircraft carrier, and more exercises will follow in the Yellow Sea
,” he said. “The aircraft carrier cannot participate in all drills. Last year, it joined the drill in the Yellow Sea. This year, it will participate in the exercise in the East Sea.”
The official admitted that China’s objection to the drill was a factor in changing the plan.
“We first discussed a plan of holding the exercise in the Yellow Sea, but changed the location to the East Sea taking into account the development in the United Nations Security Council,” he said. On July 9, the UN Security Council issued a presidential statement deploring the sinking of the naval warship Cheonan on March 26, but didn’t say North Korea was behind the attack as South Korea and the U.S. believe. China and Russia objected to North Korea being blamed.
A Pentagon official said Wednesday that foreign affairs and defense policy makers from Seoul and Washington will meet next week to discuss and likely approve the joint drills. U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will meet their South Korean counterparts, Defense Minister Kim Tae-young and Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan, in Seoul next Wednesday to discuss the drill and other security matters.
The joint drills, which involve a wide range of military assets, will “augment already planned bilateral exercises, such as the Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise that takes place annually,” Defense Department spokesman Geoff Morrell said in a briefing in Washington.
“All of these exercises are defensive in nature, but will send a clear message of deterrence to North Korea and demonstrate our steadfast commitment to the defense of South Korea,” Morrell said.
Asked about China’s objection to the drill, Morrell said China was a country “whose opinion we respect and consider. But this is a matter of our ability to exercise in the open seas, in international waters. Those determinations are made by us, and us alone.”
“Where we exercise, when we exercise, with whom and how, using what assets and so forth, are determinations that are made by the United States navy, by this - by the Department of Defense, by the United States government,” Morrell continued.
A total of about 10 packages of the joint drills are planned in the waters surrounding the peninsula, he added.
Read more: http://joongangdaily.joins.com/article/view.asp?aid=2923285