Japan, US conclude amphibious drill Keen Sword 17

Aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), Japan Maritime Self Defense Force Akizuki-class destroyer (DD-115), middle, and the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 62), furthest, steam in formation during exercise Keen Sword 17. Photo: US Navy

Sailors from U.S. and Japan concluded the joint amphibious  field training exercise Keen Sword 17.

U.S. Navy and Marine Corps units joined forces with Japanese Self Defense Force units to conduct a range of amphibious missions between November 1-11.

Surface ships took part in live-fire exercises and other maritime missions to simulate protecting the amphibious task force and providing supporting fires to ground forces ashore.

Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Rear Adm. Tatsuya Fukuda, commander, Escort Flotilla Four, and six JMSDF officers embarked USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) for the duration of the exercise.

The Japanese officers worked with Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15 on the watchfloor aboard Ronald Reagan to take charge of the 10 U.S. and JMSDF surface forces participating in the exercise.

“We came aboard Reagan for two reasons,” said Rear Adm. Fukuda. “To coordinate and seamlessly liaison with DESRON 15 for KS17 events, and, more importantly, to learn firsthand the latest maritime tactics and procedures. The United States always has the most cutting edge technology and command and control structures; it is good to learn from our ally.”

Lt. Naoki Saito, a JMSDF intelligence and communications officer, said, “Face to face is the easiest way for mutual understanding between our forces. Email and other electronic communication can lead to misunderstandings and are not as good for operations. I am glad to be here to work through scenarios together.”

The embarked JMSDF staff members stood watch alongside DESRON 15 officers for the duration of the exercise.

Squadrons from Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5 have been participating in multiple large force employment exercises with U.S. Air Force (USAF) and Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) units during Keen Sword 2017. The exercises required a large amount of planning and coordination on the ground at Kadena, Air Force Base, at sea aboard Ronald Reagan, and in the air in the local operating areas.

Most of the missions have involved CVW-5 F/A-18 Super Hornets and E-2C Hawkeyes operating with USAF F-15 Eagles and JASDF Mitsubishi F-15s.

“Keen Sword is an important exercise to strengthen the ties between the JMSDF and U.S. Navy. Stronger ties directly contribute to our ability to work together and continue our important partnership,” said Fukuda.

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Sea-Air-Space 2018

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Maritime Reconnaissance and Surveillance Technology 2017

Maximising Maritime Situational Awareness Capabilities for the Safety and Protection of International Waters

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After last year’s huge success the SMi Group is proud to announce the 2nd Maritime Reconnaissance and Surveillance Technology. The event will be held in Rome on the 30th and 31st of January 2017.

Based on the success of the 2016 conference, we aim to replicate and improve by providing a more regional focus, not just on the Mediterranean, but other areas of interest including the Black Sea and further beyond in the Asia Pacific region. All of which have keen collective interest on ensuring the safety and security of legitimate maritime activities.

This high level meeting will bring together senior military leadership, project decision makers, technical experts and cutting edge industry solution providers to explore future endeavours that will enhance the security and stability of the world’s oceans.

The 2017 programme will:

  • Provide a wider regional focus outside of the Mediterranean where challenges are also persistent
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  • Present a running theme on the importance of information sharing as operations are increasingly conducted at an international level
  • Include Informal networking time to talk to peers and colleagues also shaping and influencing Maritime ISR programs today
  • Allow learning on how other nations are developing their maritime surveillance and reconnaissance provision from past experience and cutting edge research and development
  • Get to the heart of challenges faced by modern maritime forces such as capability gaps and what requirements they now have


  • Rear Admiral Giovanbattista Raimondi, Chief of C4 and Security Department, Italian Navy
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  • Colonel Sergio Cavuoti, Chief of the Intelligence and Awareness Policy Branch of the Air Staff Aerospace Planning Division, Italian Air Force


  • Rear Admiral Enrico Credendino, EU Navfor Med Operation Commander, EU Naval Force
  • Commodore William Ellis, Commander CTF-67, US Naval Forces Europe
  • Captain Jan De Beurme, Chief of Staff, Belgian Navy
  • Captain Fernando Angelo, Director, Navy Intelligence Analysis Centre,  Portuguese Navy 
  • Wing Commander Richard Berry, P-8 Poseidon Program Manager, Royal Air Force
  • Commander Michael Sela, Head of C5I Branch in the R&D department, Israeli Navy
  • Commander Pasi Staff, Chief of Surveillance, Finnish Navy
  • Commander Hannes Schroeder-Lanz, Branch Chief C4ISR, Germany Navy
  • Guy Thomas, Director, C-SIGMA
  • Gerard O’Flynn, Head of SAR Ops, Irish Coast Guard
  • Leendert Bal, Head of Department C Operations, European Maritime Safety
  • Joachim Beckh, Technical Working Group Chair, MARSUR
  • Vice Admiral (Ret’d) Peter Hudson, Former Commander, NATO MARCOM







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