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NEWS | Nov. 23, 2015

USS Chancellorsville, Teruzuki Form Surface Action Group for ANNUALEX 16

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Raymond D. Diaz III

WATERS SOUTH OF JAPAN -- Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Akizuki-class destroyer JS Teruzuki (DD 116) joined forces for a bilateral surface action group (SAG) training during Annual Exercise (AE) 16, Nov. 16.

The purpose of a SAG is to practice and execute tactics and procedures between surface combatants and simulated enemy threats in a controlled environment. Chancellorsville and Teruzuki worked in tandem against a counter SAG consisting of ships from the JMSDF.

“Our overall goal for this exercise was to integrate with our Japanese naval counterparts and operate as a single unit to overcome our threats,” said Capt. Curt Renshaw, commanding officer of Chancellorsville. “Mission readiness and proficiency is always a top priority. Exercises like this allow us the opportunity to not only build upon international ties but further each other’s understanding of naval operations in the Western Pacific.”

The Chancellorsville and Teruzuki SAG had the assignment of protecting and defending their mission objective and to launch mock attacks at opposing surface combatant forces that posed a threat.

The exercise operating area for the event stretched for hundreds of square-miles south of the Japanese mainland. AE16 units were able to practice evasion and strike tactics, utilizing all shipboard capabilities to complete their missions.

“It’s not every day that you can participate in a large scale exercise like this,” said Lt. Cmdr. Corry Lougee, Chancellorsville’s operations officer. “With all the personnel involved and the training being conducted, the lessons learned from ANNUALEX will prove most valuable in building future tactics.”

AE16 is a bilateral training exercise between the Navy and JMSDF conducted in the waters south of Japan to practice and evaluate the coordination, procedures, and interoperability elements required to effectively and cohesively respond to the defense of Japan or to a regional contingency in the Indo-Asia-Pacific.

Chancellorsville is participating in AE16 to increase interoperability between Japanese and American forces through training in air and sea operations.
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