US Navy's independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) and Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) Kashima class-training vessel JS Kashima (TV-3508) and Shimayuki-class training vessel JS Shimayuki (TV-3513) conducted bilateral exercises while sailing together in the South China Sea, June 23 2020.
Gabrielle Giffords, Kashima and Shimayuki met at sea to practice and enhance bilateral interoperability between the two navies and to emphasize the importance of communications and coordination while operating together. In April, Gabrielle Giffords sailed with JMSDF Akizuki-class destroyer JS Teruzuki (DD 116) in the Andaman Sea.
Rear Adm. Fred Kacher, commander of Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 7 underscored the importance of practicing bilateral exercises to effectively maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Some of the events included bilateral communications exercises, division tactics to practice precision maneuvering, and a photo exercise. All the events were designed to enhance interoperability between the two navies and to enable the ships to practice communicating and coordination while operating in close proximity to one another.
Kashima, Shimayuki, both attached to JMSDF Training Squadron, are underway in the South China Sea as a part of their Training Cruise 2020, to give the JMSDF trainee officers the opportunity to learn basic knowledge and skills as professional mariners.
Attached to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7, Gabrielle Giffords is on a rotational deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific.
U.S. 7th Fleet conducts forward-deployed naval operations in support of U.S. national interests in the Indo-Pacific area of operations. As the U.S. Navy’s largest numbered fleet, 7th Fleet interacts with 35 other maritime nations to build partnerships that foster maritime security, promote stability, and prevent conflict.