USS Wayne E. Meyer Conducts Bilateral Exercise in East China Sea

WAYNE E. MEYER, At Sea-- Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) conducted a three day bilateral exercise Mar. 8-10 with Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyers JS Sazanami (DD 113) and JS Samidare (106).

During this exercise, the four ships worked to strengthen the bond between the two allied countries by sailing in formations together, participating in a group photo exercise, flashing lights drill and a flag hoisting drill.

“Being able to seamlessly operate with ships from a different nation on the other side of the world is a pretty incredible feat,” said Lt. j.g. Michael Murphy, the navigation officer aboard Wayne E. Meyer. “This exercise provided our crew with an opportunity to work on different skills while continuing to build our partnership with a strong ally in the seventh fleet area of responsibility.”

The crew aboard Wayne E. Meyer dedicated many hours of work in preparation for the exercise.

“We conducted drills such as sending signals with flags and flashing light drills while in port San Diego to keep our skills fresh, but it’s different operating out in the ocean with a foreign nation,” said Murphy. “In preparation for this specific exercise with the JMSDF, the crew came together as a team and spent countless hours studying signals from the allied publication and different maneuvering techniques.”

Quartermasters aboard Wayne E. Meyer played a key role throughout the exercise.

“A lot of the quartermasters aboard the ship have never had the opportunity to practice these skills with a foreign nation,” said Quartermaster 3rd Class Tia Mcclellan, from Chattanooga, Tennessee. “It was an exhilarating experience to be able to successfully conduct drills with the JMSDF, and I hope to work alongside them again in the future.”

According to Murphy, the success of this exercise was a testament to all the hard work put in by the Sailors from both countries.

“I am extremely thankful to have had an opportunity to work alongside the JMSDF and that the United States Navy has an ally out here that is so proficient at what they do,” said Murphy. “Personally, I really enjoyed this exercise because it continued to build our partnership with the JMSDF, and it strengthened my bond with the navigation team onboard. The outstanding effort put in by both countries was rewarded by the successful completion of this exercise.”

Wayne E. Meyer is on a regularly scheduled Western Pacific deployment with the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group as part of the U.S. Pacific Fleet-led initiative to extend the command and control functions of U.S. 3rd Fleet into the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. U.S. Navy carrier strike groups have regularly patrolled the Indo-Asia-Pacific for more than 70 years and will continue to do so. Carl Vinson has deployed to the region several times, starting with a deployment to the Western Pacific in 1983, a year after commissioning. Most recently in 2015, Carl Vinson conducted port visits and exercises with regional navies in the South China Sea.

U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy. Third Fleet constantly coordinates with U.S. 7th Fleet to plan and execute missions based on their complementary strengths to promote ongoing peace, security, and stability throughout the entire Pacific theater of operations.

This deployment is Wayne E. Meyer’s third deployment to the Western Pacific since being commissioned Oct. 10, 2009 in Philadelphia.

The ship received its name from the late Rear Adm. Wayne E. Meyer, who is regarded as the “Father of Aegis” for his service as the AEGIS weapons system manager and later for his development of the AEGIS shipbuilding project office.

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