By Kim Se-jeong
The four-day joint exercise that began Sunday is utilizing a number of state-of-the-art weapons systems in the fleet led by a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to show deterrence capability against North Korea.
With the nearly 6,000 crew and flight staff, the USS George Washington (CVN-73) is 333 meters long, 78 meters wide and 74 meters high, and carries 80 aircraft.
The U.S. has deployed the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System, or JSTARS, to closely monitor the North's military activities.
The deployment of the JSTARS system, which demonstrated its performance during the Gulf War, was requested by South Korea, and approved by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
“The JSTARS system will carry out its mission of closely tracking ground targets in North Korea,” Yonhap News Agency quoted an anonymous source as saying.
Aircraft on the carrier include the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, a multi-mission strike fighter and the E-2C Hawkeye, a twin-engine turbo prop aircraft used for airborne command, control and early warning. The EA-SB Prowler is a long-range, all-weather aircraft with advanced electronic countermeasures capability, and the SH-6-F is used for anti-submarine warfare, search and rescue, drug interdiction, anti-ship warfare, cargo lifting and special operations.
The RC-135, a reconnaissance aircraft supporting theater and national level operations with near real time on-scene intelligence collection, analysis and dissemination capabilities, and the F-22 Raptor, the world’s first stealth air-to-air fighter, were deployed from a U.S. navy base in Japan.
The exercise also involves U.S. warships including as the 9,600-ton USS Cowpens, 9,750-ton USS Shiloh and the USS Stethem.
South Korea has deployed a 7,600-ton Aegis destroyer, two 4,500-ton destroyers, frigates and anti-submarine aircraft.
U.S. officials stressed the drills were “defensive in nature,” while North Korea poured out a barrage of threatening words.
The regime is “ready to give a shower of fire and to blow up the bulwark of the enemies if they are to encroach again upon the North’s territory,” said the North’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea, the stage agency in charge of relations with the South. On the eve of the drills, North Korea’s state-owned news agency issued warnings against the U.S. “No one can predict the ensuing consequences (of the exercises).”
On Sunday morning, the South Korean military detected signs of artillery firing from the North, and issued an emergency evacuation order for residents on Yeonpyeong Island.
나흘간 진행되는 한미연합훈련은 최첨단 무기시스템을 동원함으로써 북한의 도발시 억제할 수 있는 능력을 보여주고 있다.
우선 6000명의 승무원탑승이 가능한 미 항공모함 조지워싱턴호는 길이 333 미터, 넓이78 미터, 74 미터 높이를 자랑한다. 이 항공모함에는 80대 정도의 항공기가 한꺼번에 탑재되어 있습니다.
JSTAR이라 알려진 레이더 시스템은 북한군의 움직임을 가깝게 감시할 수 있는 장비입니다. JSTAR는 한국군이 특별히 요청, 미국정부가 훈련에 특별히 투입 된 것으로 알려졌습니다.