The Australian Defense Force and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force joined the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group in the Philippine Sea for a naval exercise.
The Navy announced in a statement that the trilateral exercise, which kicked off July 19, is part of routine operations with regional allies in an effort to strengthen “shared commitments to regional stability.”
“The high end interoperability we enjoy with the JSMDF and ADF provides us the unique ability to meet at-sea and immediately operate at an advanced level. This highlights the enduring nature of our alliances with Japan and Australia,” said Capt. Russ Caldwell, commanding officer, USS Antietam, in the statement. “The United States is fortunate to routinely operate alongside its allies across the Indo-Pacific, and coordinated operations like these reinforce our mutual commitments to international maritime norms and promoting regional stability.”
The exercise involved “integrated maritime operations in an all-domain warfighting environment,” the Navy said.
“Professional integrated engagements allows the U.S. Navy and allies the opportunity to build upon existing strong relationships and improve collective readiness and response to any situation,” the statement adds.
The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group consists of Carrier Air Wing 5, the cruiser USS Antietam (CG-54), and the destroyer USS Mustin (DDG-89). Australia sent five ships, and Japan sent one.
MAIN PHOTO: PHILIPPINE SEA (July 21, 2020) The Australian Defense Force destroyer HMAS Hobart (DDG 39), left, frigate HMAS Arunta (FFH 151), the landing helicopter dock ship HMAS Canberra (L02), the fleet replenishment oiler HMAS Sirius (O 266), the U.S. Navy forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), the guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54), the Japan Maritime Self-Defense force destroyer JS Teruzuki (DD 116) and the frigate HMAS Stuart (FFH 153) steam into formation during a trilateral exercise. Trilateral exercises between the JMSDF, ADF and U.S. Navy support shared goals of peace and stability while enhancing regional security and the right of all nations to trade, communicate, and choose their destiny in a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Codie L. Soule/Released)