SASEBO, Japan – Sixteen Sailors from the guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53)
participated in a military-to-military engagement during Malabar 2016 with members of the 5th
Sergeant Training Battalion, Japanese Ground Defense Force (JGSDF), at Camp Ainoura, June
Mobile Bay is currently in Sasebo to take part in Malabar 2016, a trilateral maritime
exercise designed to enhance dynamic cooperation between the Indian Navy, Japan Maritime
Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and U.S. Navy.
Both sides took turns calling out their respective country’s cadences during a joint run
that was followed by a push-up competition at one of the base’s training fields.
“We were very honored to hold this event for [Mobile Bay],” said 1st Lt. George
Kuboya, Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force. “It’s a very good opportunity to strengthen the
friendship and alliance between Japan and the U.S.”
The partnership between the Japanese and the U.S. has played a vital role in the Indo-
“The enthusiasm for the run and push-up competition was outstanding,” said Chief
Gunner’s Mate Kenneth Matthews, from Port Washington, Wisconsin. “We showed up and were
immediately welcomed with open arms, just like family. It’s great to have allies like this, and it
was really interesting to hear how similar their cadences are compared to ours.”
In addition to the run and push-up competition, the crew members from Mobile Bay also
got a chance to help teach the JGSDF English. The members of the 5th Sergeant Training
Battalion are also participants in the Japanese basic enlisted English course.
“Because of the naval base here, Sasebo is the best place to study English for a student,”
said Sgt. Maj. Nara Shinichiro, Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force. “The communication
relationship program we have with the U.S is an opportunity that we look very forward to. We’re
very thankful to have [Mobile Bay] here with us.”
A social event between both sides brought an end to the friendly competition, with each
nation coming away from the event feeling fortunate to take part.
“We operate with the Japanese a lot in this part of the world,” said Matthews. “When we
actually get to meet the sailors and Marines that we interact with, it makes everything more
personal. The professionalism from both nations makes this alliance work well, and Malabar is a
fantastic time to showcase it.”
Providing a ready force supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, Mobile
Bay is operating as part of the John C. Stennis Strike Group and Great Green Fleet on a regularly
scheduled 7th Fleet deployment.
For more news on Mobile Bay and John C. Stennis Strike Group visit
http://www.facebook.com/USS-Mobile-Bay-CG-53 or http://www.navy.mil/local/cvn74/.USN-