Third Aircraft Carrier Steams Toward Pacific As US Armada Looms Near North Korea

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U.S. Navy aircraft assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 perform a fly-by performance for sailors and their family members on a tiger cruise aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68) in the Pacific Ocean. Nimitz was transiting the U.S. 3rd Fleet area of responsibility after spending eight months deployed to the U.S. 5th, 6th and 7th Fleet area of responsibility

U.S. Navy aircraft assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 perform a fly-by performance for sailors and their family members on a tiger cruise aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68) in the Pacific Ocean. Nimitz was transiting the U.S. 3rd Fleet area of responsibility after spending eight months deployed to the U.S. 5th, 6th and 7th Fleet area of responsibility

The USS Nimitz, the U.S Navy's oldest operating aircraft carrier just departed San Diego to head into the Pacific, where the USS Carl Vinson and USS Ronald Reagan carriers are already keeping watch over a defiant North Korea.

The Nimitz will sail with the guided-missile destroyers USS Kidd and USS Shoup from their designated carrier strike group, as well as the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Howard and USS Pinckney, and the Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS Princeton, according to a US Navy statement.

By Business Insider's count, that will mean the U.S. has three aircraft carriers, two cruisers, and 12 destroyers simultaneously operating in the Pacific, often with Japanese and South Korean navy ships nearby.

While the Navy has stressed the "routine" nature of these deployments to Business Insider on multiple occasions, there's no denying that this is a huge display of force in the Pacific.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis has defined North Korea as a "clear and present danger" to the world, and the UN has moved to once again sanction North Korean businesses and individuals in an attempt to cut off the flow of funds into the world's most heavily militarized country.

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