Sailing through the strategic waters of the Indo-Pacific, the US Navy’s Carrier Strike Group 1, led by the USS Carl Vinson, joined forces with Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and the Republic of Korea Navy in a trilateral maritime exercise held on January 16 2024.

During the three-day event, the participating ships, including USS Carl Vinson, USS Princeton, USS Kidd, USS Sterett, JS Hyuga, JS Kongo, ROKS Sejong the Great, and ROKS Wang Geon, engaged in advanced maritime communication operations, air combat drills, staff exchanges, and maritime interdiction operations training. 

This collaborative effort is aimed to bolster coordination, enhance maritime domain awareness, and address shared security concerns.

Recently, in 2023, the US carried out separate air exercises with the Japanese and South Korean air forces to build quick response capability to any regional threat, according to GlobalData’s “South Korea Defense Market 2023-2028” report. 

In November last year, the USS Carl Vinson, flagship of Carrier Strike Group 1, arrived in Busan, Republic of Korea, for a scheduled port visit, emphasising the US commitment to its alliance with South Korea.

Rear Adm. Carlos Sardiello, CSG-1 commander, emphasised the significance of training together: “Sailing and flying together safely alongside our allies demonstrates our commitment to improving information sharing and working together effectively.” The exercise showcased the maritime forces’ combined capabilities and reaffirmed their commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.

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According to GlobalData’s intelligence on the US defence market, the DoD is looking to support its allies in the region, creating a robust pro-US presence in the Indo-Pacific region and ensuring that its interests are protected against China’s growing influence. 

This trilateral maritime exercise is part of the US military’s ongoing efforts to strengthen alliances and partnerships. Focusing on combined readiness and capabilities, such exercises contribute to maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific region. The collaboration holds particular significance in 2024, marking the 71st anniversary of the US-Republic of Korea Mutual Defense Treaty and over 70 years of partnership with Japan since the 1951 Security Treaty.

In previous exercises, the Carrier Strike Group 1, deployed to the US 7th Fleet area of operations, has actively engaged with allied forces, including the Royal Australian Navy, Royal Canadian Navy, and JMSDF. 

As the US Navy’s largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, the 7th Fleet preserves a free and open Indo-Pacific, routinely interacting with allies and partners in the region.