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US, UK, Japan Maritime Forces Practice Submarine Hunting

By U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs | March 12, 2019

YOKOSUKA, Japan – The Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, Royal Navy and U.S. Navy will come together for their second trilateral exercise, Mar. 14, in the Western Pacific.

Focused on anti-submarine warfare, a U.S. Navy P-8A maritime patrol aircraft from the “War Eagles” of Patrol Squadron (VP) 16 will participate in the drills.

"The Royal Navy, Japan Maritime Self Defense Force, and United States Navy all support a free and open Indo-Pacific,” said Capt. Brian Erickson, commander, Task Force Seven Two (CTF 72). “Exercises like this demonstrate our nation's resolve in the region, while improving interoperability, maintaining readiness, and learning best practices from one another.”

Joining the 7th Fleet aircraft are RN Type 23 frigate, HMS Montrose (F236), Murasame-class destroyer JS Murasame (DD-101), P-1 JMSDF maritime patrol aircraft, and a JMSDF submarine.

"The improvement of our tactical skillset is expected throughout this Trilateral EX,” said Cmdr. Shusaku Okada, Commanding Officer, JS Murasame. "I also hope that further cooperation be strengthened with the Royal Navy, the United States Navy, and the mutual understanding be deepened."

These exercises reflect a shared commitment to enhancing maritime cooperation since a 2016 trilateral summit attended by all three service chiefs at the Pentagon. While all three maritime services operate and train together during multilateral exercises like Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), this exercise is the second of its kind between them since the first one held in December 2018.

“HMS Montrose has been operating in the Pacific since December 2018, and our upcoming exercise with our allies in the USN and JMSDF will be one of the highlights of our time in this important region,” said Cmdr. Conor O’Neill, HMS Montrose commanding officer. "The Royal Navy has a long history of cooperation with both Japan and the United States, and we will all benefit a great deal from training together.”

U.S. 7th Fleet provides security alongside allies and partners throughout a free and open Indo-Pacific. As the U.S. Navy’s largest numbered fleet, 7th Fleet operates roughly 50-70 ships and submarines and 140 aircraft with approximately 20,000 Sailors.

Patrol Squadron (VP) 16 is homeported in Jacksonville, Fla. and is on a rotational deployment to 7th Fleet out of Misawa, Japan.