US Navy Strengthens Bonds with Philippines and Japan

Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54) participated in a training evolution with Philippine navy frigate Gregorio Del Pilar (PF 15) and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) destroyer JS Sazanami (DD 113) Oct. 22.

During the evolution, the ships conducted several drills in live-fire gunnery, communications, and close-in maneuvering.

Cmdr. Steven Liberty, Antietam’s executive officer, said:

It was a very professional, well executed event.

These types of evolutions help strengthen our ties with our regional partners, and help ensure that we have the ability to work together in the future to ensure peace and stability in the region.

The events were challenging at times due to the coordination needed for three navies, who are all used to operating in a different way.

Lt. j.g. Jordan Klein, from Olympia, Washington, who was the officer of the deck during the navigational portion of the evolution, said:

It was really helpful in getting us familiar with how they operate and how they communicate.

If we had to do this in a real-world scenario, we know we can adapt and work with them very quickly.

For the crew, it was an exciting opportunity to conduct a live-fire gunnery exercise with the .50-caliber machine guns.

Antietam is on patrol in the 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

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Press release, Image: US Navy