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NEWS | Feb. 14, 2020

US Submarine Participates in Submarine Competition

By Petty Officer 1st Class Ryan Litzenberger

FLEET ACTIVITIES YOKOSUKA, Japan – A U.S. Navy Los Angeles-class attack submarine will participate in the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Submarine Competition (SUBCOMP) in waters south of Japan, Feb. 17-21.

SUBCOMP is designed to evaluate and test Japanese crews across multiple platforms on their ability to conduct various aspects of anti-submarine warfare. The inclusion of U.S. Navy assets in the exercise mutually benefits U.S. and JMSDF units by enhancing overall anti-submarine warfare (ASW) proficiencies and further strengthening the relationship between the two countries.

In addition to the U.S. submarine, this year’s SUBCOMP will feature two JMSDF submarines, four JMSDF ships, and multiple aircraft. The top performing crew will be recognized with the Japanese Battle Efficiency Award.

“This is the kind of anti-submarine exercise is a way for our submariners to test and assess their tactics, doctrine and ASW education,” said Capt. Jesse Zimbauer, the Submarine Group 7 Deputy Chief Of Staff for Operations. “We’re excited for the opportunity to showcase our skills while working with our Japanese counterparts in an intense and highly effective training environment.”

“We welcome the role of the U.S. Navy submarine in this year’s Submarine Competition,” said CAPT Mitsuru Takada, Deputy Chief Of Staff for Operations, Commander, Fleet Submarine Force, who will be organizing the exercise. “Their participation will considerably increase the efficiency of our anti-submarine efforts in the Indo Pacific.”

During the exercise, a JMSDF sailor will embark the U.S. Navy submarine, allowing our Japanese counterpart a firsthand look at the day-to-day operations of a submarine at sea, and the overall operations of our ASW force.

“The submarine’s crew is thrilled to welcome aboard a fellow submariner. Having one of our Japanese counterparts onboard will provide valuable face-to-face cooperation between our Sailors,” said Zimbauer. “As we continue our mission in the Indo Pacific, we will continue to further enhance our capabilities along with our allies.”

“We are excited for this unique training opportunity with the U.S. Navy,” said Takada. “By having him aboard, we can learn how our counterparts operate, and this will ultimately help us better support them.”

Over the next several months, U.S. and JMSDF ASW forces will continue training together, focusing on integrated ASW exercises that enable all components of the Navy’s ASW forces – air, surface and subsurface – to enhance interoperability and work more efficiently together to promote peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific.

COMSUBGRU 7 directs submarine activities throughout the Western Pacific, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea; two forward-deployed submarine tenders and four attack submarines homeported in Guam; five surveillance towed array sensor system vessels and three oceanographic survey vessels when tasked for theater anti-submarine warfare operations.

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