The embarked LNOs participated in observation and observation of various ship developments during their time aboard Reagan and directly supported the role of Sea Combat Commander (SCC) as part of strike group operations led by Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15. SCC is responsible for defending aircraft carriers from surface and underground enemy units, and planning and executing offensive strikes. The JMSDF officers coordinated a formation exercise, a joint anti-submarine exercise and tactics in an integrated environment.
“It is an honor to work with Commodore Horikawa Yuji and his staff at Escort Division 1,” said Capt. Justin Harts, Deputy Commodore, DESRON 15 and embarked sea combat commander. “We are working hard to refine our interoperability with the JMSDF aboard USS Ronald Reagan. While the JMSDF has continuously worked with DESRON 15/Commander Task Force (CTF) 71 as commander of warfare in the warzone, COVID prevented the forward-deployed aircraft carrier’s regular embarkation and sea combat commander training. Now that rules allow for more regular training with our allies and partners, we are delighted to have our Japanese shipmates rejoin us as we share our commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region.”
The US Navy and JMSDF regularly host personnel from each other’s ships to strengthen ties between the two partner marines. While the LNOs gained insight into carrier operations, the JMSDF Asagiri-class destroyer JS Amagiri operated as an integrated unit within the strike group, conducting anti-submarine drills, formation sailing and tactical training.
“I am very honored to train with CSG 5,” said Captain Horikawa Yuji, commander of Escort Division (CCD) 1, JMSDF. “I believe this exercise has been effective and deepens our collaboration and interoperability. I hope this exercise will enhance the deployment of forces and the combined operational capabilities between the JMSDF and USN to create a free and open Indo-Pacific that will help support stability in the Indo-Pacific region.”
On September 17, the joint operations of the USS Ronald Reagan and Amagiri ended with a group sail in the Philippine Sea.
This LNO exchange was part of a long series of bilateral training sessions conducted between the US Navy and JMSDF throughout 2022.
Earlier this year, CSG 5 and JMSDF made strides in expanding collective combat capabilities through routine exercises and exchanges. In April, the CSG 5 and JMSDF Information Warfare (IW) teams conducted a conference aboard Ronald Reagan where they spoke face-to-face on issues relevant to information warfare.
In May, units from CSG 5 and JMSDF conducted group sailing exercises and a cross-deck helicopter exercise using a JMSDF helicopter.
Also in May, another group of JMSDF LNOs embarked aboard Ronald Reagan, where they observed U.S. Navy firefighting and damage control practices during general quarters, flight operations, and station and navigation exercises.
In August, the strike group hosted flag talks aboard the Reagan with their counterparts from the JMSDF Fleet Escort Force to discuss maritime strategies and best practices for force deployments and bilateral integration at sea. These efforts have resulted in operations with the JMSDF destroyers JS Ohnami (DD 111) and JS Yamagiri (DD 152) in August, and now most recently with Amagiri and the visiting LNOs this month.
The US and Japanese naval forces have been partners in the Indo-Pacific for more than 60 years.
The US 7th Fleet exercises operational control of its units through designated task forces or task groups. These groups are organized by domain and function lines. CTF 70 is the theater warfare commander and the theater air and missile defense commander.
CTF 70 is deployed in the US 7th Fleet area of operations in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific. The US 7th Fleet is the largest forward-deployed fleet in the world, and with the help and network of alliances and partners from 35 other seafaring nations, the US Navy has operated in the Indo-Pacific region for more than 70 years. Providing credible, ready forces for peacekeeping and conflict prevention.