US, Japan, Australia, and S. Korea join inaugural ‘Pacific Vanguard’ naval exercises

Six days of naval drills to be held near Guam in Western Pacific

Taiwan News
Date: 2019/05/23
By: Duncan DeAeth, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

USS Blue Ridge in front of Japan’s Mt. Fuji (By Wikimedia Commons)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The United States continues to shore up military alliances in the Indo-Pacific to counter China’s rapid military expansion in the region. On May 23, the navies of Japan, South Korean, and Australia joined the U.S. led Pacific Vanguard naval exercises near the U.S. territory of Guam in the Western Pacific.

The “first-of-its-kind” Pacific Vanguard exercises are scheduled to last six days, and will include as many as 3,000 service personnel from the four countries, reports Reuters. Commander of the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet, Vice-Admiral Philip Sawyer was quoted in statement from the U.S. Navy.

“Pacific Vanguard joins forces from four, like-minded maritime nations that provide security throughout the Indo-Pacific based on shared values and common interests. This exercise advances the integration of our forces, and enables an effective collaborative response to a range of events that might occur in the region.”
The Royal Australian Navy is represented by two frigates, the HMAS Melbourne and HMAS Parramatta, while the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force is represented by two destroyers, the JS Ariake and JS Asahi. South Korea dispatched a single destroyer, the ROKS Wang Geon.    [FULL  STORY]

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