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US, Japan Complete Anti-Submarine Warfare Exercise in Philippine Sea

The US Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) have completed a week-long joint exercise in the Philippine Sea to measure how effectively ships and fighter jets can detect and track submarines.

The joint Ship Anti-Submarine Warfare Readiness Effectiveness Measuring training consisted of a series of exercises based on anti-submarine warfare procedures and tactics. During the practice, the vessels conducted maneuvering drills and unit coordination.

“This is a great opportunity to improve our proficiency in the detection and tracking of submarines and enhances our ability to operate alongside our allies in the JMSDF,” Cmdr. David Catterall said in a navy statement.  

“These events build on cooperation, and ensure that when we work together, we are a stronger combined force that is ready to confront the undersea threat,” he added.

Alongside the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald, Maritime Patrol, and Reconnaissance Aircraft from Task Force 72, a Japanese JS Takanami destroyer and a submarine also participated.

About the USS Fitzgerald

The USS Fitzgerald is assigned to Commander, Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron and is currently on a scheduled deployment to the US seventh fleet’s area of operations in the Indo-Pacific.

The ship weighs 8,900 tons and measures 154 meters (505 feet) in length, manned by a crew of 300. Commissioned in 1995, the warship is equipped with 90 vertical launch system missile silos, anti-submarine torpedoes, and two Phalanx close-in weapon systems.

It was severely damaged during a collision with a container ship three times its size off the coast of Japan in 2017. The collision damaged the hull, superstructure, and the ship’s SPY-1 radar system. The vessel returned to the water in 2020 and was deployed to its former home port of Tokyo Bay in January this year.

Series of Joint Exercises

The US, Australia, Canada, Germany, and Japan also conducted naval drills in November 2021. The annual ANNUALEX 2021 exercise focused on maritime communication tactics, anti-submarine and air warfare operations, resupply at sea, and cross-deck flight operations.

It involved the US Navy destroyer Milius, P-8A Poseidon aircraft, Japan’s helicopter carrier Kaga, destroyer Murasame, as well as submarine and patrol aircraft.

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