TIMELINE: Where In The World Was The Carl Vinson Strike Group? And When?
Where in the world is the USS Carl Vinson?
One week after U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) announced that a naval strike group led by the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson would be moving to the Western Pacific from Singapore, the ships were no closer to their destination.
Ahead of what was eventually a failed North Korean missile test on April 16, news that the strike group was nearby the country was seen as a sign of President Donald Trump’s tough talk and hardline stance on the country’s nuclear weapons program.
White House and military officials have emphasized that they never specified a schedule for the Vinson’s arrival off the Korean Peninsula, but they are facing criticism nonetheless for failing to tamp down on interpretations of the strike group’s movement as a signal to North Korea.
Here’s what we know happened, and when:
April 5: North Korea tests a ballistic missile following another test of several missiles on March 6. “North Korea launched yet another intermediate range ballistic missile,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says in response. “The United States has spoken enough about North Korea. We have no further comment.”
April 7: Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping end a two-day summit at Mar-a-Lago, during which they reportedly discuss deterrents to North Korea’s nuclear missile ambitions.
April 8: “Adm. Harry Harris, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, has directed the Carl Vinson Strike Group to sail north and report on station in the Western Pacific Ocean after departing Singapore April, 8,” the U.S. Navy announces in a press release, adding that the strike group “will operate in the Western Pacific rather than executing previously planned port visits to Australia.” Read the full story here