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NEWS | Oct. 21, 2020

Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Leadership Visits Commander, U.S. Seventh Fleet

MC3 Aron Montano

YOKOSUKA, Japan -- Leadership from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) visited U.S. 7th Fleet flagship, USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) in port Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Sep 30.

During the visit, U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Bill Merz, 7th Fleet commander, held an office call with JMSDF Vice Adm. Hideki Yuasa, commander in chief of the Self Defense Fleet. The two leaders discussed the U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self Defense Force’s continued partnership.

While aboard, Yuasa also met with U.S. Navy Capt. James J. Mehail, 7th Fleet director for the Enforcement Coordination Cell (ECC), where Mehail showed and explained to Yuasa the multinational mission ECC.

The visit to the 7th Fleet ECC mission spaces, as well as the continued support from the JMSDF, enhances the multinational forces’ ability to support the United Nations Security Council Resolutions, said Mehail.

Mehail added, “Inside the ECC, the 7th Fleet and JMSDF relationship is maintained and enhanced through coordinated action in real-world and training scenarios, which also includes many participating partner nations with the same end goals. This coordination is extremely important to the success of the UNSCR enforcement.”

Mehail and Yuasa spent time connecting with their professions, as well as with their academic, and military backgrounds. Mehail also presented Yuasa with a face mask that was sewn by his wife and an ECC uniform patch.

The U.S. Navy and the JMSDF have maintained their partnership and alliance for over 60 years and continue to routinely cooperate in the 7th Fleet area of operations, both enhancing bilateral interoperability with each other and strengthening their relationships with partners throughout the Indo-Pacific region.

As the U.S. Navy's largest forward-deployed fleet, 7th Fleet has approximately 50-70 ships and submarines and 140 aircraft with approximately 20,000 Sailors in the area of operations at any given time, providing security alongside allies and partners throughout a free and open Indo-Pacific.

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