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US holding joint drills with Canada, Japan, South Korea, India

South Korea and the US conduct a joint drill involving F-15K and KF-16 fighter jets and a B-1B strategic bomber from the US on March 3, 2023.

The United States has launched anti-submarine drills with Canada, India, Japan, and South Korea, according to the US Navy.

The drill, dubbed Sea Dragon 23, started on Wednesday and will culminate in more than 270 hours of in-flight training, the US 7th Fleet said in a news release.

Exercises range “from tracking simulated targets to the final problem of tracking a US Navy submarine,” it said.

With 50 to 70 ships and submarines, 150 aircraft, and more than 27,000 sailors and marines ready to deploy at any given time, the 7th Fleet “routinely interacts and operates with Allies and partners in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region,” the 7th Fleet said.

That includes operating in the South China Sea, in a move that would likely draw an angry response from Beijing. The strategic waterway has long been a source of tensions between Beijing and Washington.

The US routinely draws Beijing’s anger by sailing and flying near islands in the South China Sea.

The drill also comes as China’s navy is taking part in joint search and rescue exercises with Iran and Russia in the Sea of Oman. The maritime exercise involve forces from the marine and airborne units of the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy, and flotillas from China and Russia.

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