US, Japan kick off their premier naval exercise in Pacific

The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group steams in formation with Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ships during an earlier iteration of 'Annual Exercise'. Photo: US Navy

Ships from the US Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) on November 16 started the 2017 edition of their bilateral maritime field training exercise simply dubbed ‘Annual Exercise’.

During the ten days of evolutions, Japanese and American forces will increase the defensive readiness and interoperability of through training in air and sea operations.

Training will take place in the waters surrounding Okinawa and follows more than a week of scenario-based training ashore.

The exercise is one of the largest undertaken between the two countries with approximately 14,000 U.S. personnel taking part.

US Navy units joining the drill include the forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), which just concluded a rare US Navy three-carrier drill, and guided-missile destroyers USS Stethem (DDG 63), USS Chafee (DDG 90), USS Mustin (DDG 89), and a maritime patrol and reconnaissance squadron.

Annual Exercise, the premier training event between USN and JMSDF, is designed to Questions regarding JMSDF participation, training and personnel should be referred to the Japan Maritime Staff Office Public Affairs Office.

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