U.S. Navy conducting rare 3-carrier exercise in the Pacific during Trump's Asia trip

The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) transits the South China Sea in this U.S. Navy picture taken October 29, 2015. U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter will visit the Roosevelt as it transits the South China Sea on Thursday, a move sure to raise the ire of China as tensions between Washington and Beijing simmer over the disputed waterway. Picture taken October 29, 2015. REUTERS/U.S. Navy/Mass Communications Specialist 3rd Class Anthony N. Hilkowski/Handout via Reuters

REUTERS

The U.S. Navy says it will launch a rare military exercise involving three aircraft carrier strike groups in the western Pacific.

The maneuvers are to begin Saturday. It will be the first three-carrier exercise in the western Pacific since 2007.

The U.S. 7th Fleet, which announced the exercise Wednesday, did not say where in the western Pacific the exercise will be conducted, but officials have said recently that it is intended to demonstrate U.S. resolve with allies Japan and South Korea during the ongoing crisis with North Korea.

The carriers involved are the USS Ronald Reagan, based in Japan; the USS Theodore Roosevelt, based in San Diego; and the USS Nimitz, based at Naval Base Kitsap at Bremerton, Washington.

The exercise comes as President Trump makes a nearly two-week trip to Asia. The president gave a fiery speech before the South Korea Assembly urging North Korea not to underestimate the U.S. and its allies.