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NEWS | July 11, 2023

U.S., Allied Forces Conduct Exercise Pacific Vanguard 2023

By Commander, Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron 15 Public Affairs

Pacific Vanguard is an opportunity for the four Indo-Pacific navies to strengthen their skills in maritime operations, anti-submarine warfare operations, air warfare operations, live-fire missile events, and advanced maneuvering scenarios.

The destroyer JS Shiranui (DD 120) and multiple aircraft are representing Japan. The Exercise Control (EXCON) personnel, integrating into the watch floor, are among the personnel representing Australia. The destroyer ROKS Munmu the Great (DDH 976) is representing the Republic of Korea.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Howard (DDG 83) and aircraft supporting from Commander, Task Force 72 are among the units representing the United States.

“Cooperative engagements with our Allies during exercises like Pacific Vanguard are critical to ensuring we can stay a strong and effective interoperable force,” said Cmdr. Kenji Igawa, commanding officer of USS Howard. “I am tremendously proud of my Sailors’ focus on this mission. A free and open Indo-Pacific is made possible by the relationships we build together during exercises like this one."

U.S. 7th Fleet forces routinely train to refine operational proficiency and to improve crisis and contingency response capabilities to ensure stability and security throughout the Indo-Pacific region.

USS Howard is assigned to Commander, Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron (DESRON 15), the Navy’s largest forward-deployed DESRON and the U.S. 7th Fleet’s principal surface force.

“Getting the opportunity to work together as proficient surface teammates is key to enabling peace and stability in the region,” said Capt. Walter Mainor, commander of U.S. Navy Task Force 71 and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15. “Getting to operate in the waters around Guam is valuable to our combined efforts at confronting our shared maritime challenges, and ensuring we can continually grow in all aspects of the at-sea operations that are necessary to keep this region secure.”

U.S. 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.

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