PHILIPPINE SEA -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89) operated as Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15's flagship during MultiSail 2018 and functioned as the center of combat readiness for all warfare areas.
MultiSail 2018 is designed to increase readiness and interoperability between U.S. and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) units.
"MultiSail is an opportunity for Destroyer Squadron 15 ships like Mustin to exercise warfare skills with other 7th Fleet ships and our Japanese allies," said DESRON 15 Commander Capt. Jonathan Duffy. "It has been superb training being able to operate with live submarines, fire missiles, and practice advanced tactics at sea. My staff and I have been very lucky to sail in Mustin as the DESRON 15 flagship for the exercise."
To further interoperability between with Japanese counterparts, Mustin and JS Fuyuzuki exchanged personnel during the exercise to better understand how each unit operates.
"To keep international peace and security, the Japan-U.S. alliance takes an important role," said Ensign Syuhei Kimura, JMSDF. "It is a great opportunity for me to serve as the liaison officer on the USS Mustin."
MultiSail 2018, which takes place off the coast of Guam, started March 8 and continues through March 15. It is an annual bilateral training exercise that increases interoperability between U.S. and JMSDF with a focus on improving skills such as tracking and defeating submarines, engaging surface forces, live fire exercises, and navigational maneuvers.
"Participating in the MultiSail 2018 is a great experience for our Sailors to practice true warfighting skills with our JMSDF counterparts on the open seas," said Cmdr. Ray Gamicchia, Mustin's executive officer. "This exercise provides an invaluable opportunity annually to continuously hone our skills and further our relations with the Japanese military."
Coordinating with the other vessels engaging in the exercise, Mustin works with all units to smooth out the timeline of events for MultiSail 2018.
"We prepared by building MultiSail operational areas in all C4I (command and control, communication, computers and intelligence) systems," said Chief Operations Specialist Elijah Cox. "We are also generating HSMST (High-Speed Maneuvering Surface Target) Pre-ex for a smooth live-fire execution."
The Missile Exercise (MISSILEX) portion of MultiSail gives participating units an opportunity to test and fire surface-to-air missiles targeting a remote control long-range drone at sea. Mustin successfully tracked, targeted and destroyed a drone with a Standard Missile 2 (SM-2) during the exercise.
MultiSail 2018 included U.S. Navy ships the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54); the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54), USS Benfold (DDG 65), and USS Mustin (DDG 89); and JMSDF ship JS Fuyuzuki (DD 118). MultiSail trains and improves leadership at all levels, including individual proficiency, and sharpens command and control skills while challenging participants to adapt to changing conditions as part of a combined force.