PACIFIC OCEAN – Seven sailors from Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force ships JS Akebono (DD 108) and JS Atago (DDG 117) visited USS Chosin (CG 65) Thursday as part of transit exercises in preparation for Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2010.
Japanese sailors spent the day observing life aboard Chosin, from sweepers to a main battery shoot, all the while paying particular attention to their corresponding workstations.
This experience gave sailors a chance to see how another ship, another navy operates and compare it to what they do, said Lieutenant Junior Grade Hieohiko Sato, the Assistant Missile Officer aboard JS Atago.
The shared experience of a personnel transfer not only helps the two navies understand each other’s operations and practices, but also establishes a better relationship heading into RIMPAC 2010, believes Sato.
“It is very important to be able to communicate with the US, and person to person contact will help establish good communication,” he said. Such sentiment is shared by those aboard Chosin.
“The goal of these exchanges is to interact and build camaraderie with our counterparts from other navies participating in RIMPAC,” said Commander Karl Tenney, the Executive Officer aboard Chosin, “and as long as everyone comes back with renewed or gained appreciation for the Navies we sail alongside then it will be a success.”
“It’s important to recognize this with the different cultures coming together to execute the same mission,” said Tenney.
Thursday’s personnel exchange marks the second consecutive day that the Japanese and US ships provided sailors with an opportunity to visit a foreign vessel. On Wednesday, four Chosin junior officers spent the day experiencing joint tactical maneuvering and anti-surface warfare exercises from aboard the Atago and Akebono, helping the Japanese break the language barrier by translating and explaining messages sent between the ships during the exercises.
"If it were possible, I would keep them longer,” said Commander Masayuki Nishimura, the commanding officer aboard Akebono said in reference to the sailors visiting his ship. “These are the building blocks for a great RIMPAC.
RIMPAC 2010 will mark the 50th anniversary of the US-Japan Security Treaty signed in 1960.