US, Japan hone maritime patrol coordination

Photo: US Navy

Maritime patrol squadrons from the US Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force met up for a coordinated maritime patrol operational procedures (CMPOP) exercise in Okinawa, Japan, recently.

US Navy’s “Golden Swordsmen” of Patrol Squadron (VP) 47 were joined by JMSDF’s Fleet Air Wing (FAW) 5 for the training.

“This joint training was an exciting opportunity for VP-47 to work with the JMSDF to reinforce and to continue to build relations with our host nation’s military,” said Lt. Zach Alcairo, VP-47 Combat Aircrew (CAC) 9 Mission Commander.

During the exercise, VP-47 and FAW-5 service members employed a Mark 39 expendable mobile anti-submarine training target, emphasizing CMPOP Japan turnover procedures.

“This was an incredibly smooth event. Both crews executed the briefed plan and tactics as discussed, facilitating seamless turnovers throughout the on-station period,” said Lt. Cmdr. Meredith Trezise, Commander, Task Group 72.2 Tactics Officer. “This was an outstanding event overall and I hope more of our crews get the experience over the remainder of deployment.”

The exercise included a P-8A Poseidon and a P-3C Orion. VP-47 is a P-8A Poseidon squadron. The P-8A Poseidon is the US Navy’s premiere long-rang anti-submarine warfare platform. The P-3C Orion is one of the JMSDF’s current maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircrafts in service today.

With two dissimilar aircraft involved in prosecution on-station, VP-47 and FAW-5’s successful bilateral training stressed anti-submarine and anti-surface operations.

“The event proved to be a great learning experience and demonstrated how good planning can improve interoperability and alleviate potential communication barriers,” said Lt. Shane Lewis, VP-47 CAC-9 Tactical Coordinator. “We were very impressed with FAW-5’s professionalism and proficiency on station and look forward to more opportunities like this in the future.”

The “Golden Swordsmen” are currently deployed to Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa, Japan conducting maritime patrol and reconnaissance and theater outreach operations within US 7th Fleet (C7F) area of operations in support of Commander, Task Force 72, C7F, and U.S. Pacific Command objectives throughout the Indo-Asia Pacific region.

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