US carrier group maneuvers with Japanese ships in East China Sea

Ships from the U.S. Navy’s Carl Vinson carrier strike group joined Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) ships for an at-sea bilateral exercise in the East China Sea.

The U.S. Navy and JMSDF operated together March 26-29 to increase proficiency in basic maritime skills and improve response capabilities.

Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) were accompanied by JMSDF destroyers JS Hamagiri (DD-155), JS Samidare (DD-106), JS Sazanami (DD-113), JS Umigiri (DD-158) and JS Yudachi (DD-103).

The ships conducted multiple maneuvers testing their communications interoperability and ship handling techniques.

“The U.S. and Japan have built a relationship based on a shared vision of cooperation, democracy and regional stability,” said Rear Adm. Jim Kilby, commander, Carrier Strike Group 1. “The Japan-U.S. alliance is maintained and strengthened through training exercises like these.”

While deployed, CSG-1 is operating under U.S. 3rd Fleet command and control, including beyond the international dateline which previously divided operational areas of responsibility for 3rd and 7th Fleets.

“We, JMSDF, and the USN have confirmed matured relationships through this exercise,” said Rear Adm. Kajimoto Daisuke, commander, Escort Flotilla 3 (CCF-3). “All the bilateral operations with the U.S. Third Fleet were very successful. This achievement is reflecting well with continuous Seventh Fleet activities. This should be very significant for peace and stability in the region.”

CSG-1 deployed with approximately 6,500 sailors in January and will conduct bilateral exercises in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region taking part in anti-submarine warfare, maneuvering drills, gunnery exercises and visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) and subject matter expert exchanges.