The US Navy is moving a second aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan, to the Korean Peninsula where it will conduct dual-carrier training drills with the USS Carl Vinson, defence officials said. After completing a maintenance period and sea trials in Yokosuka, Japan, the USS Ronald Reagan departed for the Korean Peninsula on Tuesday, the officials told CNN on Thursday.
“Coming out of a long in-port maintenance period we have to ensure that Ronald Reagan and the remainder of the strike group are integrated properly as we move forward,” Rear Admiral Charles Williams said in a statement.
Once it arrives in the region, the carrier will conduct a variety of training exercises but primarily focus on certifying its ability to safely launch and recover aircraft.
The 1,092-foot Reagan carries a crew of 4,539 and is equipped with roughly 60 aircraft, according to the Navy. It was commissioned in 2003 and cost about $8.5 billion.
The USS Carl Vinson arrived at the Korean Peninsula late April as a show of force in advance of a long-anticipated sixth nuclear test from the North Korean government, reports CNN.
On Sunday, Pyongyang launched a KN-17 missile that achieved an altitude of more than 1,000 miles, which according to the North Koreans, is by far their longest reach yet in their missile test programme.