05:27 GMT30 November 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The US naval forces together with servicemen from Australia, Japan and South Korea have approached Guam, a US island territory in the western Pacific, to launch the inaugural joint maritime drills, dubbed Pacific Vanguard, the US 7th Fleet said in a statement on Thursday.

    “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 statement read, quoting the commander of US 7th Fleet, Vice Adm., Phil Sawyer.

    The drills will involve over 3,000 naval troops practicing diverse naval capabilities, including "combined maneuvers, live fire exercises, defensive counter-air operations, anti-submarine warfare, and replenishment at sea," the 7th fleet said.

    READ MORE: US F-16 Squadron Trains With Allies in UK Joint Drills

    According to the statement, Australia is represented by Royal Australian Navy frigates HMAS Melbourne (FFG 05) and HMAS Parramatta (FFH 154). Japan has sent its JS Ariake (DD 109) and JS Asahi (DD 119) destroyers, while South Korea has deployed its ROKS Wang Geon (DDH 978) destroyer.

    The United States is represented by its USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) flagship, USS Antietam (CG 54) guided-missile cruiser, USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) guided-missile destroyer, among others.


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