KURE, JAPAN - The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen (DDG 82) arrived in Kure on Friday for a scheduled port call.
Earlier in the week, on Wednesday, Lassen joined JS Harusame (DD 102) to begin the two-day at sea phase of the US Navy and Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) Midshipmen Foreign Exchange 2011. A total of 40 USN and JMSDF midshipmen took part in the exchange with 20 midshipmen assigned to embark each ship.
Lassen and Harusame used the two-day transit to train the midshipmen and increase interoperability by conducting several exercises including Divisional Tactics (DIVTACS), Replenishment at Sea (RAS) operations, and tactical signaling drills.
Participating in these exercises, the midshipmen had the opportunity to learn about 7th Fleet surface naval operations. Interacting with Lassen’s crew, the midshipmen received basic shipboard training in seamanship, damage control, engineering and combat systems. They experienced a wide range of at sea evolutions including a Pre-Aim Calibration Fire (PACFIRE) of the Mk45 5-inch gun, helicopter operations in the form of the rarely conducted forward Vertical Replenishment (VERTREP) on Lassen’s foc’sle, and even took turns practicing ship handling maneuvers during man overboard drills.
“Not all these midshipmen will join the surface forces,” said Lassen’s commanding officer Cmdr. Chip Wrye. “But they received valuable training that will prepare them for life in the navy once they are commissioned.”
Completing the at-sea phase of the Foreign Exchange, the midshipmen departed in Kure for three days of seminars, tours, and cultural events to strengthen the bonds between the midshipmen and teach the USN midshipmen about Japanese culture and heritage. Following the port call, the 20 US midshipmen continued their training aboard Lassen.
Lassen is assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15 and is forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan.