Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet

 
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U.S. Navy, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Complete Annual Bilateral Training Exercise MultiSail 17

By Lt. j.g. Soon Kwon | March 10, 2017

APRA HARBOR, Guam -- Commander, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15 and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) completed the annual bilateral training exercise MultiSail 17, March 10.

The six-day exercise consisted of surface action group maneuvers, anti-submarine training, and various other events which tested warfighting capabilities of each participant.

The MultiSail 17 participants included forward-deployed Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Barry (DDG 52), USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62), USS Stethem (DDG 63), USS McCampbell (DDG 85), and USS Mustin (DDG 89); JMSDF surface units JS Ikazuchi (DD 107) and JS Hatakaze (DD 171); and helicopters from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 51.

Capt. Jeffrey A. Bennett, commander, DESRON 15, led the exercise and was embarked aboard Mustin for the duration of the exercise.

"MultiSail is a great opportunity to conduct complex operations at sea between our ships in DESRON 15, CTF (Commander, Task Force) 70 fixed and rotary wing aviation squadrons, CTF 72 maritime patrol aircraft, JMSDF partners, and U.S. Air Force aircraft," said Capt. Jeff Bennett, commander, DESRON 15. "Being able to work bilaterally with the JMSDF not only strengthens our ties with Japan but it gives us an advantage in our tactics, capability and develops regional capabilities that provide a full range of options to succeed in defense everyone's interests."

During the six-day exercise, U.S. Navy and JMSDF units improved interoperability skills through detecting, locating, tracking and engaging units at sea, in the air, on land, and underwater in response to a range of mission areas.

Unlike previous MultiSail exercises, MultiSail 17 included in-port and at-sea training by personnel from the Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (NSMWDC).

"MultiSail 17 provided a great opportunity to improve our tactical abilities with the help of Warfare Tactics Instructors from SMWDC," said Cmdr. Ed Angelinas, McCampbell's commanding officer. "The exercise also helped us improve our interoperability skills through our interactions with JMSDF counterparts."

The U.S. Navy conducts similar exercises with the JMSDF throughout the year. The lessons learned from exercises like MultiSail 17 will assist the U.S. Navy and JMSDF to develop regional capabilities that provide a full range of options in defense of their interests and those of their allies and partners around the world.
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