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NEWS | Sept. 9, 2020

U.S. Navy Joins Australia, Japan, Republic of Korea for Multinational Group Sail

LT Mark Langford

PHILIPPINE SEA -- Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG 52) is scheduled to join the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) during a multinational group sail from waters near Hawaii to Guam beginning Sept. 9, to conduct integrated, multi-domain operations.

U.S. Naval forces routinely participate in multinational group sails in order to operate alongside regional allies and strengthen our shared commitments to regional stability and a free and open Indo-Pacific through integrated training and cooperation. Operating together alongside allies from the RAN, ROKN, and JMSDF strengthens each nation’s collective commitment to international rules-based order.

Commanding Officer of HMAS Arunta, Cmdr. Troy Duggan said the multinational group sail followed a successful Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC). He welcomed this next opportunity of this joint sail "to continue our close and effective cooperation."

"The Royal Australian Navy remains committed to strengthening the longstanding security partnerships across the region,” said Duggan. “Our relationships are based on mutual respect, trust and a shared vision for a secure, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific."

Throughout the group sail period, participants will operate and train together, exercising integrated maritime operations in a multi-domain warfighting environment. Professional integrated engagements allows the U.S. Navy and allies the opportunity to build upon existing strong relationships and improve collective readiness and response to any situation.

"This exercise provides opportunities that can enhance steadfast and flexible coordination system," said commodore, Maritime Task Squadron 71, Capt. Kim Sung Hwan of the ROKN. "It will also serve as an opportunity to strengthen joint response capabilities for various security situations by building up the friendship and coordination system between participating nations."

Australia, the Republic of Korea, and Japan have all fostered long-standing alliances with the United States, who regularly trains, exercises, and otherwise engages with regional allies and partners to ensure peace and stability throughout the region.

“It has been a great summer so far through enhancing friendship and cooperation, moreover confidence among ten likeminded navies during the RIMPAC 2020,” said Capt. KITAGAWA Keizo, commander, Escort Division Two. “Group sail is the next phase for further cooperation focused on four navies in the region. It is my great honor to lead the group and train together as one team. JMSDF is and will remain committed toward the peace and stability of the Indo-Pacific region with allies and partner navies, and it is the fundamental strategic end state of JMSDF.”

Participating U.S. units in the Multinational Group Sail include Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG 52), a Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine, and fleet replenishment oiler USNS John Ericsson (T-AO 194). Participating from the RAN is HMA Ships Stuart (FFH 153) and Arunta (FFH 151). JMSDF participants include JS Ise (DDH 182) and JS Ashigara (DDG 178). Participating from ROKN are ROK Ships Chungmugong (DDH 975) and Seoae (DDG 993).

"Every opportunity to train and sail alongside our allied naval partners from Australia, Japan, and the Republic of Korea is rewarding and mutually beneficial," said Cmdr. Christopher A. Gahl, commanding officer, USS Barry. "Our ability to seamlessly integrate for advanced warfare training is a testament to each navy's professionalism and commitment to international maritime norms and regional stability."

Barry is underway conducting operations in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific, while assigned to Destroyer Squadron Fifteen (DESRON) 15, the Navy's largest forward-deployed DESRON and the U.S. 7th Fleet's principal surface force.
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