US Navy Claims USS Carl Vinson Heading Toward North Korea, Again
After a potent mix of bad communication and general confusion concerning the whereabouts of the US Navy’s USS Carl Vinson, the commander of the group said via Facebook that the carrier will indeed extend its deployment to “provide a persistent presence” off the Korean Peninsula.
Last time the Pentagon said that, it was later discovered that the Vinson was near Indonesia, 3,500 miles away from its announced destination. Defense officials now tell US Naval Institute (USNI) News that the strike group may arrive in East Asia “sometime next week,” the outlet reported.
“We are sending an armada” to the Korean Peninsula, US President Donald Trump had said in an April 11 interview with Fox News Business. Trump did not detail the assets involved in this “armada,” aside from US Navy submarines – presumably nuclear-armed Ohio-class subs – which he claimed are “far more powerful than the aircraft carrier.”
Defense Secretary James Mattis echoed Trump the same day, saying that the Vinson was “on her way up there” to the Korean Peninsula, but four days later the aircraft carrier was photographed at the Sunda Strait between Malaysia and Indonesia.
While Trump talked up his saber-rattling tactics of sending the Vinson toward the Korean Peninsula to stare down Pyongyang, the carrier and its accompanying battleships were actually training with the Royal Australian Navy “off the northwest coast of Australia,” US Pacific Command spokesman David Benham later told USNI.