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NEWS | June 23, 2016

U.S. Navy; JMSDF kick off new course to plan for large-scale disasters

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Indra Bosko, U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs

TOKYO (NNS) - A new course to educate and train staff level naval officers from various countries to formulate a plan to conduct Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations kicked off June 20 at the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Command and Staff College.

25 students from eight navies showed up for the first day of the two-week course called the Asia-Pacific Navy Planning Process International Course (APNIC). "This is the largest gathering of international officers put together," said Professor Jim Murray from the U.S Naval War College.

APNIC, which is facilitated by representatives from the U.S. Naval War College and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Command and Staff College, also aims to strengthen ties among the like-minded navies in the region.

The president of the JMSDF Command and Staff College, Rear Adm. Umio Otsuka, welcomed student officers to the course.

"I am very proud, as a Japanese naval officer, of being able to demonstrate the robust Japan-U.S. alliance on this occasion in launching together with the U.S. Navy a new event to promoting multilateral regional cooperation amongst friendly navies."

Otsuka stressed that "trust is the key for successful military operations."

The course includes lectures, discussions and practical sessions on hypothetical disaster relief operations caused by natural disasters.

Professors emphasized student officers will need to develop teamwork and work together to be successful in the course.

Representatives from both U.S. Naval College and JMSDF Command and Naval College say that they would like to see more countries in the Asia-Pacific region participate in the APNIC next year.

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