PHILIPPINE SEA (March 10, 2017) The guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89) leads U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) ships in formation during MultiSail 17. A bilateral exercise, MultiSail improves interoperability between the U.S. Navy and JMSDF through realistic, shared training enhancing the ability of the two forces to work together to confront any contingency. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Elijah G. Leinaar/Released)
U.S. Navy JMSDF complete annual MultiSail exercise

APRA HARBOR, Guam - Commander, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15 and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) completed the annual bilateral training exercise MultiSail 17, March 10.

The six-day exercise consisted of surface action group maneuvers, anti-submarine training, and various other events that tested warfighting capabilities of each participant.

The MultiSail 17 participants included the forward-deployed Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Barry (DDG 52), USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62), USS Stethem (DDG 63), USS McCampbell (DDG 85), and USS Mustin (DDG 89); Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) surface units JS Ikazuchi (DD 107) and JS Hatakaze (DD 171); and helicopters from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 51.

The exercise was led by Capt. Jeffrey A. Bennett, commander of DESRON 15, who was embarked on Mustin for the duration of the exercise.

"MultiSail is a great opportunity to conduct complex operations at sea between our ships in Destroyer Squadron 15, CTF 70 fixed and rotary wing aviation squadrons, CTF 72 maritime patrol aircraft, JMSDF partners, and U.S. Air Force aircraft," Bennett said. "Being able to work bilaterally with the JMSDF not only strengthens our ties with Japan but it gives us an advantage in our tactics, capability and develops regional capabilities that provide a full range of options to succeed in defense everyone's interests."

During the six-day exercise, U.S. Navy and JMSDF units improved interoperability skills through detecting, locating, tracking and engaging units at sea, in the air, on land, and underwater in response to a range of mission areas.

Unlike previous MultiSail exercises, MultiSail 17 included in-port and at-sea training by personnel from the Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (NSMWDC).

“MultiSail 17 provided a great opportunity to improve our tactical abilities with the help of Warfare Tactics Instructors from SMWDC,” said Cmdr. Ed Angelinas, McCampbell’s commanding officer. “The exercise also helped us improve our interoperability skills through our interactions with JMSDF counterparts.”

The U.S. Navy conducts similar exercises with the JMSDF throughout the year. The lessons learned from exercises like MultiSail 17 will assist the U.S. Navy and JMSDF to develop regional capabilities that provide a full range of options in defense of their interests and those of their allies and partners around the world.

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