BAY OF BENGAL -- Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Charleston (LCS 18) participated in joint training exercise La Pérouse 2023 with six Allied and partner nation navies in the Bay of Bengal, March 13-14.
La Pérouse is a multilateral exercise designed to enhance cooperation in the field of maritime surveillance, interdiction, and air operations by progressive training and information sharing. The French Navy, represented by Mistral-class amphibious assault ship FS Dixmude (L9015) and La Fayette-class frigate FS La Fayette (F 710), hosted the exercise.
“It is vital that the Indo-Pacific remains free and open, connected, prosperous, secure, and resilient,” said Cmdr. Spike Lamson, commanding officer, Charleston Gold Crew. “Every opportunity we get to work with our regional Allies and partners helps to strengthen that goal.”
Additional participants included Indian Navy Shivalik-class stealth frigate Sahyadri (F49) and Komandarm Fedko-class replenishment oiler INS Jyoti (A58), Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Akizuki-class destroyer Suzutsuki (DD 117), Royal Australian Navy Anzac-class frigate HMAS Perth (FFH 157), personnel from the Royal Canadian Navy, and Royal Navy offshore patrol vessel HMS Tamar (P233).
The ships met at sea to conduct force integrated training and practiced a range of surface and air warfare events to include live-firing exercises, coordinated tactical maneuvering, flight operations, simulated air-to-surface combat exercises and communications drills. Exercise La Pérouse demonstrated combined combat capabilities and seamless coordination between regional Allies and partners underscoring the commitment to peace, security, and stability in the Indo-Pacific.
Attached to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7, Charleston is on a rotational deployment, operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with Allies and partners serve as a ready-response force in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
As the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed DESRON in Southeast Asia, DESRON 7 serves as the primary tactical and operational commander of littoral combat ships rotationally deployed to Singapore, functions as Commander, Task Force 76/3 Sea Combat Commander, and builds partnerships through training exercises and military-to-military engagements as the executing agent of the Commander, Task Group Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training.
7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with Allies and partners in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region.