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US Sends Carrier Strike Group Above Arctic Circle for First Time in 30 Years

© U.S. Navy / Go to the photo bankThe aircraft carrier group of the United States Navy led by USS Harry S. Truman, front, and a ship escort are seen leaving the port of Norfolk heading for the Middle East
The aircraft carrier group of the United States Navy led by USS Harry S. Truman, front, and a ship escort are seen leaving the port of Norfolk heading for the Middle East - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The Harry S. Truman Aircraft Carrier Strike Group has entered the Norwegian Sea - the first US carrier deployment to the Arctic in nearly three decades - to join 30 NATO allies and partner nations in exercise Trident Juncture 2018, the Navy announced in a press release on Friday.

"The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HSTCSG) will expand its complement of capabilities off the coast of Norway, performing air, surface and subsurface operations while being confronted by the trio of freezing temperatures, fierce winds, and unpredictable seas," the release stated. "After honing its skills independently, HSTCSG will join 30 NATO allies and partner nations to participate in Trident Juncture 2018."

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America was the last US aircraft carrier to operate in the area, participating in NATO exercise North Star in September 1991, the release noted.

This Mar. 6, 2016, file photo provided by the U.S. Navy, shows the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54) sails in the South China Sea. China says it dispatched warships to identify and warn off a pair of U.S. Navy vessels sailing near one of its island claims in the South China Sea. A statement on the Defense Ministry’s website said the Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS Higgins and Ticonderoga class guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam entered waters China claims in the Paracel island group “without the permission of the Chinese government.” - Sputnik International
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Trident Juncture will take place in Norway and surrounding areas of the North Atlantic and the Baltic Sea, including Iceland and the airspace of Finland and Sweden from October 25 to November 23, the release said.

More than 50,000 participants — including 14,000 US service members — are expected to participate, utilizing approximately 150 aircraft, 65 ships, and more than 10,000 vehicles in support of the exercise, according to the release.

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