A barrage of North Korean missile tests earlier this week has focused attention on the war games underway on the other side of the Demilitarized Zone. In the annual Foal Eagle Exercise, tens of thousands of US and South Korean troops are preparing for defense, according to the Pentagon, or rehearsing an attack on North Korea, according to Pyongyang. Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy has just begun two other international drills in the Pacific…
U.S. and Japanese vessels are exercising off Guam in what’s called MultiSail 2017. According to a U.S. Navy press release, the exercise focuses on “detecting, tracking and engaging units at sea, in the air, on land and underwater.”
The vessels involved include half a dozen of the most modern U.S. Destroyers, two destroyers from the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Forces and an American Ticonderoga class cruiser. One goal is to improve the ability to operate together. Presumably including practice, of the U.S. Navy’s relatively new concept called dispersed lethality, which emphasizes groups of surface vessels operating independently, to present an enemy with multiple threats.
The 12th Pacific Partnership Mission is a very different exercise. Medical, dental, civil engineering and veterinary teams from the U.S., the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan and South Korea are aboard the transport ship, USNS Fall River, to practice for natural disasters. On average, two major disasters strike in the Pacific each year and, each year, Pacific Partnership selects a few countries to train with.
This year, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Vietnam. Along with disaster drills, A Navy Press release says the teams of experts will conduct civil action projects, community health exchanges and medical symposiums.