The United States of America, Canada, India and Japan are holding joint anti-submarine warfare drills as part of talks between South Korean and Japanese leaders to strengthen their alliance against North Korea and China.
The Sea Dragon 23 exercises, which began Wednesday, will end in more than 270 hours in-flight training. “From tracking simulated targets to tracking a U.S. Navy submarine,” the U.S 7th Fleet stated in a news release.
All participating countries will host classroom training sessions for pilots and flight officers.
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The drills will be held in a competition with the winner of the most points receiving the “Dragon Belt.”
Two P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft are currently based in Guam, and will represent the U.S Navy. The Navy did not specify where or how long the exercises would take place.
It said that the 7th Fleet has 50-70 ships and submarines, 150 planes and more than 27,000 sailors, and marines available for deployment at any time.
This includes operations in the South China Sea where it regularly draws Beijing’s anger by flying and sailing near islands that are fortified and held by China.
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These exercises are also happening as China’s navy participates in joint search-and-rescue exercises in the Gulf of Oman together with Iran and Russia. They are three of the most hostile countries to the United States.
As yet, other nations are participating in the “Security Bond-2023” exercises. China’s Defense Ministry claims that the exercises will “help deepen practical collaboration between the participating countries’navies… and inject positive energy to regional peace and stability.”
John Kirby, spokesperson for the U.S. National Security Council, stated Wednesday that the White House wasn’t concerned about the joint training exercise.
China and Japan are arguing over small islands in the East China Sea. Both sides accuse the other of violating their maritime territories.