MSDF to hold joint drill with U.S. carrier Ronald Reagan

Kyodo

A joint exercise by the Maritime Self-Defense Force and the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan is being arranged as concerns grow over the increased pace of North Korea’s weapons testing, government sources said Wednesday.

The nuclear-powered Ronald Reagan was sent to the Sea of Japan from its home port of Yokosuka near Tokyo to join the U.S. carrier Carl Vinson deployed there amid heightened tensions after a spate of missile tests by the North and signs the reclusive state may carry out its sixth nuclear test.

In addition to a drill with the Ronald Reagan, the MSDF is likely to hold an exercise joined by the Carl Vinson, according to the sources.

In late April, the MSDF and the Carl Vinson conducted joint exercises in the Philippine Sea and the Sea of Japan.

After undergoing regular maintenance, the Ronald Reagan left Yokosuka on May 16 and conducted carrier landing training in the Western Pacific before being deployed in the Sea of Japan.