JMSDF, US Navy begin Annual Exercise 19

The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and the US Navy kicked off their bilateral maritime field exercise, Annual Exercise ‘19, off Japan, November 10.

Photo: US Navy

The annual bilateral exercise provides the two allies the ability to practice and evaluate coordination procedures and interoperability elements while further building on bilateral relationships.

“I have strong faith that this bilateral exercise will enhance the interoperability between JMSDF and US Navy, the facilitation of the cooperative response against the contingency situation, and finally, the reliability and the deterrence effects of Japan – US security arrangements,” said Vice Adm. Hiroyuki Kasui, commander in chief, self-defense fleet.

Throughout the exercise, the JMSDF and US forces will work together in air, surface, and subsurface battlespaces, requiring all participating units to train in a comprehensive scenario that is designed to practice critical capabilities required to support the defense of Japan and respond to a potential crisis or contingency in the Indo-Pacific region.

“Everything we do in 7th Fleet promotes and reinforces the singular goal of promoting security and stability throughout the region,” said Vice Adm. Bill Merz, commander, US 7th Fleet. “Collaboration with partners like the Kaijo Jieitai protects the peace and prosperity that benefit all countries in the region.”

Ships assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15 are the primary US Navy surface forces participating in the exercise.

“As a forward-deployed destroyer squadron, it is an absolute privilege to work alongside the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, as well as the Royal Australian Navy and Royal Canadian Navy, during ANNUALEX ‘19,” said Capt. Steve H. DeMoss, commander of DESRON 15.