PHILIPPINE SEA — The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (NIMCSG) conducted a bilateral maritime exercise with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), March 23-26.
USS Nimitz (CVN 68), USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108), and USS Decatur (DDG 73) cooperated in anti-submarine drills, air defense exercises, helicopter cross deck landings, and integrated maritime fires training with JS Ise (DDH-182). JMSDF staff members embarked on Nimitz in support of integration and exercise execution.
This is the second time NIMCSG has worked with the JMSDF on its deployment, with commodore, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 9 embarking on JS Asagiri (DD 151) February 22 for an operational planning meeting.
“Our partners in the Japan Self-Defense Forces are incredibly important Allies, and it is essential that we continue to integrate and train together to expand interoperability and strengthen our capabilities,” said Rear Adm. Christopher Sweeney, commander, Carrier Strike Group 11. “This Alliance has never been stronger or more important as we remain resolute to fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows.”
The U.S. Navy and JMSDF routinely operate together to improve interoperability in support of maintaining peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific.
Commander of Escort Division 6, Captain YOKOYAMA Shigeki, who assumed command of the Japanese side, said, “Through this bilateral exercise, we were able to improve the tactical capabilities of our units and their interoperability with the U.S. Navy. Under the strong U.S.-Japan alliance, the naval forces of our two countries are tirelessly strengthening their deterrence and response capabilities to respond immediately to any contingency through bilateral exercises such as this one.”
NIMCSG consists of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), DESRON 9, and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Decatur (DDG 73), and USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108).
Nimitz’s embarked air wing consists of the “Fighting Redcocks” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 22, “Mighty Shrikes” of VFA-94, “Kestrels” of VFA-137, “Blue Diamonds” of VFA-146, “Sun Kings” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 116, “Cougars” of Electronic Attack Squadron 139, “Battlecats” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 73, “Screamin’ Indians” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 6 and “Providers” of Fleet Logistic Support Squadron 30.
NIMCSG is in U.S. 7th Fleet conducting routine operations. 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy‘s largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with Allies and partners in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region.