Australia, Japan, U.S. hold joint naval drill in Philippine Sea

The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), Australian Defense Force (ADF), and the US Navy’s Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group began a trilateral exercise in the Philippine Sea on July 19.

Photo: US Navy

The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group consists of Carrier Air Wing 5, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54), and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89).

The ADF Joint Task Group comprises HMA Ships Canberra (L02), Hobart (DDG 39), Stuart (FFH 153), Arunta (FFH 151), and Sirius (O 266).

In addition, participating from the JMSDF is JS Teruzuki (DD 116).

“Maintaining security and safety at sea requires navies to be able to cooperate seamlessly. The combined tasking between our navies demonstrates a high degree of interoperability and capability between Australia, the U.S. and Japan,” Commodore Michael Harris, commander, Australian Joint Task Group, said.

Throughout the cooperative exercise period, participants will operate and train together, exercising integrated maritime operations in an all-domain warfighting environment. Professional integrated engagements allows the trio the opportunity to build upon existing strong relationships and improve collective readiness and response to any situation.

Australia and Japan have both fostered long-standing alliances with the United States. This year also marks the 60th anniversary of the treaty of mutual cooperation and security between the United States and Japan.

 “The experience in this exercise will give us tactical and operational advantages and make our friendships stronger, in addition to our regular joint exercises with both like-minded navies,” Capt. Sakano Yusuke, commander, Escort Division 4, commented.

“The high end interoperability we enjoy with the JSMDF and ADF provides us the unique ability to meet at-sea and immediately operate at an advanced level. This highlights the enduring nature of our alliances with Japan and Australia,” Capt. Russ Caldwell, commanding officer, USS Antietam, said.

Photo: US Navy

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