Home » Foreign Forces » Navy Begins High-End Exercise With Japan, HADR Drill With Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Malaysia

Navy Begins High-End Exercise With Japan, HADR Drill With Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Malaysia

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Mustin (DDG 89), USS McCampbell (DDG 85), and USS Barry (DDG 52) maneuver near the USS Stethem (DDG 63) during a surface exercise in waters south of Japan on Feb. 27, 2017. The destroyers eventually sailed to Guam to participate in the Multisail 2017 exercise with Japanese forces. US Navy photo.

The U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force began their annual bilateral training Multisail exercise today, which will this year include at-sea training hosted by the Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center.

Multisail 2017, taking place in and around Guam, includes six U.S. Navy ships, two JMSDF ships and other subsurface and other special units, according to a Navy news release. Among the U.S. forces participating are the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers USS Stethem (DDG-63), USS Barry (DDG-52), USS Mustin (DDG-89), USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) and USS McCampbell (DDG-85).

The training exercise focuses on “detecting, locating, tracking, and engaging units at sea, in the air, on land, and underwater in response to a range of mission areas.” Those mission areas range from maritime security operations to anti-submarine and air defense exercises, according to the news release.

Lessons learned from this exercise will help the Navy and JMSDF develop regional capabilities to defend their interests and those of their allies, the Navy stated.

Elsewhere in the Pacific, the Navy is conducting its 12th Pacific Partnership mission, which began March 1. This operation selects a couple countries – this year Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Vietnam – to train for humanitarian assistance and disaster response missions.

Medical, dental, civil-engineering and veterinary teams – from the U.S., United Kingdom, Australia, Japan and South Korea, embarked aboard expeditionary fast transport USNS Fall River (T-EPF-4) – will partner with the host nations to conduct civic-action projects, community health exchanges, medical symposiums and humanitarian and disaster relief (HADR) drills.

“Pacific Partnership is helping improve disaster response readiness for more than a decade in dozens of nations,” Rear Adm. Don Gabrielson, commander of Task Force 73 and executive agent for Pacific Partnership 17, said in a Navy news release. “
“Disasters threaten us all – they ignore borders, and they disregard national sovereignty. The Indo-Asia-Pacific region averages two large disasters each year, and Pacific Partnership has been a key enabler behind many countries being more prepared today. When the distress call comes, the life-savers know who to call and what to do next because Pacific Partnership helps prepare us to manage the unthinkable.”

The news release notes that about two major HADR events occur in the Pacific each year and that exercises like Pacific Partnership help create a smoother response by creating relationships and experience in coordinating response efforts.

Of note, this will be the first time in the exercise’s 12-year history that the Navy will visit Sri Lanka or any other South Asian nation. Fall River will also be in Vietnam on the 22nd anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between the United States and Vietnam and is meant to highlight the deepening relationship between the two nations.

  • Alan Ned Sabrosky

    Good to know we don’t hold a grudge against Vietnam for beating us….What difference do 58,000 dead and 300,000-plus wounded make, after all? And it isn’t the same as cooperating with Germany & Japan –
    there the regimes that went to war against us were dismantled. Just slightly surprised that we don’t put communist Vietnam in the same category as communist North Korea – and why we have better relations with both Asian communist states than with Iran, which just embarrassed us by taking an embassy & holding hostages for a year.

    • Horn

      They are more like capitalist communists. Don’t know if that makes a difference for you.

      • Ctrot

        Vietnam is a totalitarian leftist state that is “communist” (whatever meaning there is left to that word) in name only.

    • Duane

      The North defeated the South, not the USA, after the US Congress abandoned the South. It ended 42 years ago, get over it.

      The Vietnamese government does not threaten the USA or our allies. We trade with them, they allow us access to Cam Ranh Bay, and they cooperate with us militarily.

      And your problem with that is?

      • Ctrot

        “The North defeated the South, not the USA, after DEMOCRATS IN the US Congress abandoned the South.”

        Fixed that for you.

  • Ed L

    I still strongly feel that the failure of the Truman administration to stop France from Retaking possession of their Indochina colonies after WW2 lead to America’s involvement into Vietnam. In retrospect maybe it would have been better if we had occupied Vietnam after the Japanese surrender. When Japan formally surrendered to the Allies on September 2, 1945, Ho Chi Minh felt emboldened enough to proclaim the independent Democratic Republic of Vietnam. French forces seized southern Vietnam and opened talks with the Vietnamese communists. These talks collapsed in 1946, and French warships bombarded the northern Vietnamese city of Haiphong, killing thousands.

    • Marjus Plaku

      Thanks for this insight. Preludes are sometimes the most important and consequential to understanding what comes after. Often glossed over or forgotten entirely by subsequent generations.

      I think we can thank Truman too for sacking MacArthur and leaving Korea a mess and unfinished. Ironic that a reluctance to possibly use nukes then has led to the very real possibility of them being used now, either against us or the North Koreans, but with much more devastating consequences than 60 years ago.