US Navy’s destroyer USS Fitzgerald conducts anti-submarine drill with JMSDF

The US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) conducted bilateral training exercises in the Philippine Sea with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) from 27 January.

The Ship Anti-Submarine Warfare Readiness Effectiveness Measuring (SHAREM) program is a series of events focused on anti-submarine warfare procedures and tactics designed to measure how effectively surface ships and aircraft can detect and track submarines. It also served as a joint exercise with JMSDF naval assets, with both countries trading expertise with the other to maximize communication and understanding.

“This is a great opportunity to improve our proficiency in the detection and tracking of submarines and enhances our ability to operate alongside our allies in the JMSDF,” said Cmdr. David Catterall.

“These events build on cooperation, and ensure that when we work together, we are a stronger combined force that is ready to confront the undersea threat.”

The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer was joined by a Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft (MPRA) from Commander, Task Force 72, as well as the Japanese destroyer JS Takanami (DDG 110), a submarine, and MPRA aircraft. In the initial days of the event, the ships took advantage of their close proximity and ran maneuvering drills and unit coordination.

“The relationship with JMSDF is a building block that helps our overall partnership with the Japanese,” said Capt. Chase Sargeant, commander, Task Force 71/ Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15.

“I believe that by conducting the SHAREM and other exercises together, and analyzing the effectiveness of our tactics it will further improve our interoperability.”

The exercise is scheduled to be completed on 2 February, the navy officials noted.

The US Navy’s destroyer is assigned to Commander, Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15 while on a scheduled deployment to the US 7th Fleet area of operations in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

CTF 71/DESRON 15 is the navy’s largest forward-deployed DESRON and the US 7th Fleet’s principal surface force.

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Photo: US Navy