July 1, 2019 – USS Charleston (LCS 18) and Japan Maritime Self-Defense ships JS Inazuma (DD 105) and JS Kashima (TV 3508) participated in a combined exercise, June 16.
Charleston, Inazuma, and Kashima operated in close vicinity of one another conducting division tactics and a photo exercise. These exercises strengthened the communication and coordination skills between the U.S. and Japanese Navy.
“The depth and frequency of our engagements allow us to operate regularly and effectively shoulder-to-shoulder with our Japanese partners globally, across the full spectrum of warfare,” said Vice Adm. John D. Alexander, commander U.S. 3rd Fleet. “It is crucial that we operate together throughout the Indo-Pacific, not just in the East or just in the West. We can operate together anywhere.”
Alexander visited Kashima prior to the exercise to talk to the crew about leadership as well as the importance of the relationship between Japan and the United States of America.
“This exercise strengthen and reaffirm the relationship between the U.S. and allied navies,” said Capt. Matthew McGonigle, commander, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron (LCSRON) 1. “Today Charleston not only enhanced their watch team capabilities but demonstrated the LCS capability to successfully work side-by-side with the Japanese Navy.”
The engagement concluded with close-quarter maneuvers that tested the bridge watch teams on their communication and maneuvering abilities.
LCS vessels are high-speed, agile, shallow draft, mission-focused surface combatants designed for operations in the littoral environment, yet fully capable of open ocean operations. As part of the surface fleet, LCS has the ability to counter and outpace evolving threats independently or within a network of surface combatants. Paired with advanced sonar and mine hunting capabilities, LCS provides a major contribution, as well as a more diverse set of options to commanders, across the spectrum of operations.
U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Indo-Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy. U.S. 3rd Fleet works constantly with U.S. 7th Fleet to complement one another and provide commanders capable, ready assets across the spectrum of military operations in the Pacific.