YOKOSUKA, Japan – The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54) hosted an Air Defense Syndicate along with U.S. Air Force and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) personnel, Feb. 19.
Held quarterly, these ongoing interactions between Antietam and the JMSDF are designed to help maintain interoperability and air defense capabilities between the two nation’s fleets as well as support training exercises conducted during underway evolutions.
“This is a tactics discussion with our JMSDF counterparts,” said Senior Chief Operations Specialist Douglas Reece, Antietam’s operations department leading chief petty officer. “Anytime we have the chance to get in a room and talk tactics, it just helps to reinforce what we do in a real-world setting, and make sure we are operating on the same wavelength.”
The syndicate is part of continuing efforts to further integrate operations and increase capabilities between U.S. forces and the Japan Self Defense Forces (JSDF).
“These syndicates give us an opportunity to sit down and talk to our Japanese counterparts and learn what they have learned, and share what we have learned.,” said Lt. Nick Moskevich, Antietam’s fire control officer. “The value in the exercises is using the lessons learned and applying them to the tactics, terminology, language barriers.”
For the first time, members of the U.S. Air Force attended the syndicate in an effort to further streamline communications and tactics.
“For some of the tactics we are discussing here today, it will be integral to have good communication between Air Force, Navy, and our JSDF counterparts,” said 1st Lt. Jason Ward, weapons officer with 961 Airborne, Air Control Squadron, Kadena Air Base. “With the continuing emphasis on interoperability in the region, we have to start exploring more ways to increase communication in order to be able to respond effectively to real-world threats.”
These conversations are reinforced with bilateral exercises while on patrol, giving the U.S. and JSDF the ability to respond in a unified way to new challenges.
“This conversation is just one of many things we are constantly doing to increase interoperability with our Japanese counterparts,” said Reece. “But also, this is a chance for us to discuss new ways to counter any issues that may arise in this region, and respond accordingly, with our allies.