MANILA, Philippines (NNS) -- Leaders from U.S. 7th Fleet, the Philippine Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force met Mar. 5 aboard the 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) during a scheduled port visit. The trilateral talks aim to grow and strengthen relationships between the three nations.
Leaders from each country expressed their concerns about tensions in the South China Sea, the impact of natural and man-made disasters on operations, and discussed ways to collectively promote peace and stability throughout the Indo Asia Pacific.
Discussions also focused on lessons learned from past cooperative training efforts with an eye toward maximizing future opportunities, which included expanding on the scope and complexity of multilateral engagements, exercises, and humanitarian and disaster response efforts that will allow countries to rapidly respond in the event of a crisis.
The 7th Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin praised all the participants at a reception aboard Blue Ridge immediately following the staff talks. This "really is a tangible example of the unified commitment of our countries to the stability and security of this region."
Aucoin also said, "the peace and stability in this region really depends on the unified efforts of our countries."
The U.S. 7th Fleet conducts forward deployed naval operations in support of U.S. national interests in the Indo-Asia Pacific area of operations. As the U.S. Navy's largest numbered fleet, 7th Fleet interacts with 35 other maritime nations to build maritime partnerships that foster maritime security, promote stability and prevent conflict.
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