Here’s a background info sheet:
“After departing Singapore on April 8 and cancelling a scheduled port visit to Perth, the Strike Group was able to complete a curtailed period of previously scheduled training with Australia in international waters off the northwest coast of Australia,” a U.S. Pacific Command spokesperson
The USS Carl Vinson group had been in the region of Japan and Korea, a month ago, for joint exercises and left Busan on 21 March.
— U.S. Navy (@USNavy) March 21, 2017
The Australian Navy was participating in Poseidon Cutlass 2017, jointly with the Canadian navy.
No word on any exercises with the US navy within the time period (after 8 April), except for the cancellation of the scheduled port visit to Perth. In fact the Australians had exercised with parts of the US navy at the time.
— RoyalAustralianNavy (@Australian_Navy) April 12, 2017
U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) announced on 8 April:”US Pacific Command ordered the Carl Vinson Strike Group north as a prudent measure to maintain readiness and presence in the Western Pacific,” Cmdr. David Benham,(PACOM spokesman).
Last week, Japanese forces reported that they would send destroyers to join the US Fleet when it arrives.
The US navy issued a press release stating that the group will head north – 8 April. Note no time reference given and no destination for Korea either. USS Carl Vinson, would “sail north” from Singapore to report to the Western Pacific.
Trump, in an interview on Fox, on 11 April, said that the US was “sending an armada” and specifically “We are sending an armada. Very powerful. We have submarines. Very powerful. Far more powerful than the aircraft carrier.” This fits in with this week, Japanese Defence Forces reported Russian & Chinese aerial reconnaissance flights over Sea of Japan. Maybe also submarine tracking missions.
The weirdest point is that both North and South Korea interpreted the US Navy intention and assumed that the U.S. carrier group was on its way.
To add to this, according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, anonymous South Korean official added that the US Navy was sending another 2 aircraft carriers to the region, the USS Nimitz and the USS Ronald Reagan, both of which weren’t immediately available for operations. The MSM brought the story anyhow and ran with it.
““Our deployment has been extended 30 days to provide a persistent presence in the waters off the Korean peninsula,” Rear Admiral Kilby.
Given the top speed as 30-35 knots, it would take roughly four to five days for the group to reach the peninsula from Indonesia’s Sunda Strait. But without being able to carry out flight operations though. It is feasible but not actually necessary to go that fast.
The US and South Korea are currently preparing for Max Thunder 17 exercises, that started on 17 April. It is an aerial exercise and involves many units.