Japan, South Korea & Australia starts first-of-its-kind naval drill exercise ‘Pacific Vanguard’
The first-of-its-kind naval drill exercise ‘Pacific Vanguard’has been kick started by the United States, Japan, South Korea and Australia near Guam, United States. The “Pacific Vanguard” drill brings together more than 3,000 sailors from the four countries to sharpen skills and strengthen practical cooperation at sea. The drills will focus on live fire exercises, defensive counter-air operations, anti-submarine warfare, and replenishment at sea. The Royal Australian Navy contributed two frigates to the exercise – HMAS Melbourne and HMAS Parramatta. The Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force sent destroyers – JS Ariake and JS Asahi, and South Korea the Republic of Korea Navy destroyer ROKS Wang Geon. The USS Blue Ridge, the Seventh Fleet’s flagship, will lead the operation from the U.S. side. Guam is home to more than 160,000 people, and was at the centre of nuclear tensions between Washington and Pyongyang in 2017, with North Korea threatening to hit the US territory with “enveloping fire”.