PHILIPPINE SEA -- Ships and aircraft from Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group (RRNCSG) concluded a week of at-sea bilateral training with a destroyer from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) May 17.
The training included U.S. Navy’s Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 5 flagship USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54), Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 138, and the JMSDF destroyer JS Teruzuki (DD 116), with the focus on building interoperability and strengthening relationships in support of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific.
"My crew valued this opportunity to work with our allies and integrate as part of the strike group,” said Capt. Warren Smith, commanding officer of Antietam. “Being able to conduct numerous events together and build this relationship will serve us well for future at-sea engagements.”
“We have achieved improving tactical capabilities of element and interoperability through this high-end bilateral exercise with the U.S. Carrier Strike Group,” said Cmdr. Takashi Sato, commanding officer, JS Teruzuki. “In such a way, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and U.S. Navy cooperate closely and sail together in the several seas, we are maintaining and strengthening our cooperative action capability.”
The U.S.-Japan bilateral training focused on a gunnery exercise, electronic warfare exercise, helicopter deck landing qualifications, formation sailing, communication drills, and replenishments at-sea. The events allowed for the U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense force to exercise together towards common maritime goals.
"These professional interactions between our strike group and the JMSDF continue from our multiple, regular engagements ashore that focus on the planning and sharing of knowledge to benefit both countries and the region," said Rear Adm. Michael Donnelly, Commander, Task Force 70/CSG 5. "Our Sailors across the force greatly benefit from our interactions with our JMSDF allies-both personally and professionally. As professional mariners and allies, these coordinated and integrated efforts ensure that we are effective at coming together to confront our shared maritime challenges and helps continue our like-minded objective to secure a future of peace and stability."
The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet is the largest forward-deployed fleet and routinely operates and interacts with 35 maritime nations while conducting missions to preserve and protect critical regional partnerships.