7 September 2016
An estimated 18,000 U.S. military service members are scheduled to participate next week in a vast exercise on Guam and around the Marianas to test their readiness on land, at sea, in the air and in cyberspace.
Called Valiant Shield, the exercise will involve the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, nine surface ships, three amphibious vessels and more than 180 aircraft, according to the U.S. Pacific Command in a press release.
Although the military hasn’t confirmed if the aircraft carrier will dock in Guam, for security reasons, previous exercises have given the USS Ronald Reagan’s thousands of sailors a chance for some recreational time on Guam.
Valiant Shield is scheduled to take place on Sept. 12 to 23, including in deep waters on the Mariana Islands training range complex.
Held every two years, since 2006, Valiant Shield allows the Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps to train together.
“The range of capabilities include maritime security operations, anti-submarine and air defense exercises, amphibious operations, and other elements of complex war fighting,” according to the Pacific Command.
In January, Guam’s Andersen Air Force Base also hosted Cope North, a military
exercise in which the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, Japan Air Self-Defense Force
and Royal Australian Air Force trained jointly. Participants from the Philippine
Air Force, South Korean Air Force and Royal New Zealand Air Force participated
in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training during Cope North.