By Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Sara B. Sexton, Task Force 70
/ Published March 07, 2018
Cmdr. Leroy Mitchell, commanding officer of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65), and Ensign Nancy Smith, from Asheville, North Carolina observe as Japanese Maritime Self-defense Force Akizuki-class destroyer JS Fuyuzuki (DD-118) sails alongside during a close quarters maneuvering exercise. USS Benfold is forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
Units and personnel from the U.S. Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force are scheduled to participate in the annual bilateral training exercise MultiSail 2018, March 8-14.
MultiSail is an annual bilateral training exercise that improves interoperability between U.S. and Japanese forces. In 2018, the focus of the exercise will be on improving fundamental skills such as tracking and defeating submarines, combating other surface forces, live-fire training and interoperability with U.S. and JMSDF units.
Boosting Combat Effectiveness at Sea
"MultiSail is an opportunity for our ships to increase our combat proficiency at sea," said Navy Capt. Jon Duffy, commander, Destroyer Squadron 15. "We have designed MultiSail to exercise how we detect, locate, track and engage simulated units at sea, in the air, on land, and underwater with our Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force allies to help us increase our interoperability in a range of mission areas."
Participants include USS Antietam, USS Curtis Wilbur, USS Benfold, USS Mustin, JS Fuyuzuki, and a number of subsurface and other special units.
"MultiSail 2018 provides us a valuable opportunity to increase JMSDF tactical capabilities and to strengthen our interoperability with our U.S. Navy allies," said Cmdr. Kazuteru Hirano, JS Fuyuzuki's commanding officer. "The Japan-U.S. alliance is stronger than it has ever been, and it is growing stronger."
The participating forces will exercise a wide range of capabilities and demonstrate the inherent flexibility of our combined forces, officials said. These capabilities range from maritime security operations to more complex anti-submarine and air defense exercises.
The lessons learned from exercises like MultiSail 2018 will assist the U.S. Navy and the 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.