US submarine joins Japanese, Australian counterparts for trilateral drills

US Navy file photo of USS Key West

The US and Royal Australian Navy sent their submarines to waters south of Japan where the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) hosted a trilateral submarine competition (SUBCOMP) exercise from September 12 to 19.

Japan deployed four submarines to the exercise while the US Navy participated with Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Key West (SSN 722) and Royal Australian Navy with HMAS Dechaineux (SSG 76).

The SUBCOMP exercise provided an opportunity to further the integration and trilateral coordination in an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) environment for the three navies.

The competition stressed each crew’s ability to conduct various aspects of ASW. The top performer is recognized with the Japanese Battle Efficiency Award.

“We’re honored to participate in this year’s JMSDF Submarine Competition,” said Cmdr. Dan Sutherland, Dechaineux’s commanding officer. “This is our first opportunity to participate and I’m looking forward to future exercises with the JMSDF and the U.S. Navy.

During the exercise, a JMSDF officer embarked Key West.

“Embarking a JMSDF officer provided valuable insight into diesel submarine operations and tactics,” said Hill. “I highly recommend continuing this practice during future SUBCOMP exercises.”


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