US carrier strike group departs San Diego for western Pacific, Middle East
Deployment termed "routine" amid rising North Korea tensions
USNI News reports that the US Navy’s Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group left San Diego on Friday for a scheduled deployment to the western Pacific and the Middle East.
The Nimitz-class carrier Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) will join three guided missile destroyers – USS Halsey (DDG-97), USS Sampson (DDG-102) and USS Preble (DDG-88) – for what officials call “a routine deployment.”
The super carrier’s departure comes amid a continuing US face off with North Korea over its nuke weapons and missile programs. The Washington Post also reports that the Trump administration is planning to “decertify” the Iran nuclear deal sometime this week.
Second carrier heads for Korea
A second US carrier, the Japan-based USS Ronald Reagan, departed Hong Kong on October 8 after a port visit. The Reagan and its escorting warships are heading for Korean waters to participate in scheduled US-South Korean naval maneuvers around October 15.
A Russian lawmaker said on Friday that North Korea is preparing to test a long-range missile which it believes can reach the West Coast of the United States.
President Donald Trump is also stirring speculation about future US military moves. After discussing Iran and North Korea with US military leaders on Thursday, Trump posed in a photo with his team before dinner and declared that the moment represented “the calm before the storm.” The President declined to clarify what he meant.
North Korea has threatened to launch a missile attack on the US military base in Guam, which is situated in Micronesia in the western Pacific. Pyongyang also says it may test a hydrogen bomb somewhere in the Pacific to demonstrate its nuclear capabilities.