Joint Russo-Japanese Search-and-Rescue Exercise Takes Place off Honshu Island


Joint Russo-Japanese search-and-rescue exercise were held off Maizuru, Japan where Russia’s Pacific Fleet (PF) task unit pays a courtesy visit, reported RIA Novosti referring to PF Commander’s press secretary Capt 1 rank Roman Martov.

PF task unit consisting of the fleet’s flagship cruiser Varyag, tanker Irkut, and sea-going tug MB-66 started a long-range cruise with a view to visit Japan, the US, and Canada. The cruise is held under command of Capt 1 rank Sergei Zhuga. Last Sunday the task unit called at Japanese port Maizuru (Honshu Island) paying a courtesy visit. The visit resulted in joint naval exercise; mariners rescued a civil vessel in distress.

Warships and deck-based helicopters of Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force took part in the exercise as well”, said the interviewee. According to the scenario, naval servicemen of both countries received distress call sent by a civil ship and rendered assistance to the crew.

“They conducted a number of joint drills in real conditions. When the search-and-rescue operation was over, Russian and Japanese mariners conducted brief communications and maneuvering drills”, Martov said.

As for him, this is the second call of Russian ships at Maizuru. In 2006 the port was visited by PF task unit headed by large ASW ship Admiral Panteleyev.

“Upon termination of the visit, the task unit will head for Mariana Islands to attend the Pacific Eagle joint anti-terror exercise along with American counterparts. Four years ago PF large ASW ship Marshall Shaposhnikov visited the islands and attended the anti-piracy maneuvers”, Martov said.

According to him, at the final stage of the cruise Russian servicemen will pay informal visit to Canadian port Vancouver. The task unit is expected to return at PF main naval base Vladivostok early in Dec 2011.

Present-day missile cruiser Varyag is a successor of the same-named legendary ship which crew won glory in the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) during sea battle at Chemulpo. Missile cruiser Varyag is armed with powerful multipurpose missile attack system capable to hit sea- and land surface targets at considerable distances.

Also, the ship is armed with ASW rocket launchers, torpedo tubes, and various gun mounts. NATO dubbed Russian ships of this type as “flattop killers”.

Source: rusnavy, October 03, 2011