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NEWS | Dec. 15, 2021

USS Ralph Johnson Participates in Resolute Dragon

By Commander, Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron 15

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114), is underway supporting U.S. Marines and members of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) as part of Resolute Dragon, Dec. 15.

The exercise is taking place across multiple locations across Japan from Dec. 4 -17.

The destroyer is performing air controller duties for the joint and allied aircraft participating, enhancing interoperability and readiness during the exercise as part of maritime warfare integration from the sea.

“We are very excited to be participating in Resolute Dragon. Ralph Johnson recently forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan and I could not think of a better way to kick off our time here than to work with the Japanese Self Defense Forces alongside our US Marine Corps and US Air Force shipmates,” said Cmdr. Colin Roberts, commanding officer of USS Ralph Johnson. This exercise will strengthen the ties between our two countries and demonstrate our enduring ability to work seamlessly together as an effective team in multiple domains—air, ground, and sea.”

Resolute Dragon is designed to strengthen the defensive capabilities of the U.S.-Japan Alliance by refining procedures for bilateral command, control, and coordination in a geographically distributed environment.

“The strong coordination between both joint and partnered forces gives us a greater capacity to prosecute potential targets,” said Maj. Ben Reading, Fire Support Coordination Officer for 4th Marine Regiment. “Incorporating Japanese military capabilities alongside U.S. Navy, Army, Air Force, Space Force, and our Marine Corps assets during Resolute Dragon increases our ability locate, track, and engage targets in multiple domains.”

Bilateral training exercises like Resolute Dragon, conducted between the Japan Self-Defense Force and forward-deployed U.S. Marine Corps forces, demonstrate both countries’ devotion to their mutual partnership and dedication to defending peace and security in the Indo-Pacific. Resolute Dragon is only one example of this ongoing commitment by which U.S. and Japanese military forces are able to strengthen bilateral capabilities, integration, lethality, and readiness.

Participating units include USS Ralph Johnson, more than 2,600 Marines from across III MEF representing all functions of the Fleet Marine Force. Participating aircraft from 1st Marine Air Wing, including multiple MV-22B Ospreys, CH-53E Stallions, AH-1Z Vipers, UH-1Y Venom, F/A-18D Hornets, and KC-130J Hercules, and approximately 1,400 of their counterparts from the 9th Division, North Eastern Army, Japan Ground Self-Defense Force.

Ralph Johnson is forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific. U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet largest forward-deployed fleet and routinely operates and interacts with 35 maritime nations while conducting missions to preserve and protect critical regional partnerships.