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Aircraft carrier USS Nimitz enters Western Pacific

Tokyo, June 23 (Jiji Press)–The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz has entered the western Pacific Ocean, where another flattop, the USS Ronald Reagan of the Navy’s 7th Fleet, has already been patrolling, the U.S. forces in Japan said Friday.

The Nimitz, which leads a strike team including destroyers with the Aegis missile defense system, arrived in the waters on Wednesday, enabling the Navy to maintain its presence there with two aircraft carriers after the departure of the USS Carl Vinson, now on its way to the U.S. mainland, according to the forces.

The newly dispatched attack team, which is also scheduled to be sent to the Middle East, is expected to conduct joint drills with forces of U.S. allies including the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, in an effort to discourage North Korea from going ahead with further missile launches and nuclear tests and China from accelerating its maritime expansion, informed sources said.

Joint drills with the MSDF are projected to take place in the Indian Ocean as well, the sources said.

The Navy will make a final decision on where to deploy the Nimitz-led mobile strike force after examining the Korean Peninsula situation and the Chinese military’s moves, they added.

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