SASEBO, Japan –
The crew of the Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Charleston (LCS 18) hosted Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) admirals, who toured the ship while moored at Commander Fleet Activities Sasebo, Japan, June 1.
JMSDF Vice Adm. FUKUDA Tatsuya, commander, Fleet Escort Force, and Rear Adm. SHIMIZU Hitoshi, commander, Escort Flotilla Two, spent time meeting with Charleston’s crew, touring the ship, and discussing the unique aspects of the Independence-class littoral combat ship.
Charleston’s commanding officer explained the ship’s mission and role during their current rotational deployment to U.S. 7th Fleet.
“USS Charleston was honored to host admirals FUKUDA and SHIMIZU and all the JMSDF officers and sailors who visited during our time in Sasebo.” said Cmdr. John I. Actkinson, commanding officer of Charleston. “Anytime we can welcome strong Allies like the Japanese on board, we build our relationship and gain greater understanding of our capabilities. Doing this makes it easier for us to operate together and ensure freedom of the seas.”
During the visit, FUKUDA and SHIMIZU toured significant areas of the ship to include the mission bay, integrated combat centers, hangar bay and flight deck, and the pilot house. Officers and Sailors discussed their skillsets, day-to-day operations and highlights of their current rotational deployment with the JMSDF admirals.
Charleston recently became the first LCS in over three years to complete a preventive maintenance availability in Sasebo, providing more flexibility and expanding the area the ship has been able to operate.
Attached to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7, Charleston is on a rotational deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the region, and to work alongside allied and partner navies to provide maritime security and stability, key pillars of a free and open Indo-Pacific.
As the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed destroyer squadron in Southeast Asia, DESRON 7 serves as the primary tactical and operational commander of littoral combat ships rotationally deployed to Singapore, functions as Expeditionary Strike Group 7’s Sea Combat Commander, and builds partnerships through training exercises and military-to-military engagements.
Under Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy's largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with 35 maritime nations in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region.