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Japan, U.S. Navies Conduct Bilateral Maritime Exercise

SINGAPORE – The U.S. Navy conducted a maritime exercise with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) in the South China Sea demonstrating the combined capabilities to counter regional threats, Dec. 7.

Participating ships included the Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) and the Murasame-class general-purpose destroyer JS Ikazuchi (DD 107) of the JMSDF.

The exercise provided an opportunity to build on decades of regional cooperation allowing the maritime forces to sail together, conduct enhanced planning and advanced maritime communication operations.

“I always look forward to opportunities to work with our friends in the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. The thing that makes us such a capable multinational force is our consistent collaboration at sea, on land, and in the air,” said Cdr. Philip Herndl, commanding officer of Gabrielle Giffords. “This bilateral exercise is an example of many that we participate in together throughout the year. Each evolution makes us stronger as a united force and strengthens our ability to maintain peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.”

This year marks over 70 years of partnership with Japan since the 1951 Security Treaty between the U.S. and Japan. The U.S. Navy regularly conducts exercises like these to strengthen ties among allied countries. These exercises enhance combined readiness and capabilities and support a free and open maritime environment.

Gabrielle Giffords, part of Commander, Destroyer Squadron 7, is a rotational deployment operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with Allies and partners and serve as a ready-response force in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

As the U.S. Navy’s destroyer squadron forward-deployed in Southeast Asia, DESRON 7 serves as the primary tactical and operational commander of littoral combat ships rotationally deployed to Singapore, Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 7’s Sea Combat Commander and builds partnerships through training exercises and military-to-military engagements.

U.S. 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed numbered fleet and routinely interacts and operates with allies and partners in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

Source : navy.mil