The U.S. Navy Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG) conducted a bilateral maritime exercise with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) on January 15. The bilateral exercise, which focused on increasing combat readiness and warfighting excellence, included USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), USS John Finn (DDG 113), JS Kongo (DDG 173), and JS Asahi (DD 119). Working together provided both countries the opportunity to continue to build their capabilities while practicing for the high-end fight. This is the first bilateral exercise between the U.S. and Japan of 2021.
“Carrier Strike Group Nine is grateful for the opportunity to work with our partners in the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force to increase our proficiency and interoperability,” said Rear Adm. Doug Verissimo, commander, Carrier Strike Group Nine. “The longstanding relationship between our two great nations is critical to maintaining security and stability in the Indo-Pacific. It is only alongside allies and partners that we can maintain the rules-based order that has allowed continued prosperity around the world.”
“It is a great honor for me to conduct the first bilateral exercise in 2021 with CSG-9, USS Theodore Roosevelt, USS Bunker Hill, and USS John Finn as the senior officer of the JMSDF participants”, said CAPT Masaru Fujisaki, Kongo’s commanding officer. “This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Operation Tomodachi, which proved the importance of close cooperation between the JMSDF and the U.S. Navy. I would like to express my gratitude to our friends who have worked day and night to strengthen the relationship between us, and I am confident that our ties are an enduring pillar to safeguard the peace and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region.”
The bilateral exercise supported the U.S. Navy and JMSDF mission to develop regional capabilities that provide layered defensive options to protect each nation’s interests and those of their allies and partners. The participating forces exercised a wide range of capabilities, from maritime security operations to more complex air defense exercises, which demonstrated the inherent flexibility of the two combined forces. The TRCSG is deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to build partnerships that foster maritime security and to conduct a wide range of operations that support humanitarian efforts and freedom of the seas.
The TRCSG consists of USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), Destroyer Squadron 23, and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Russell (DDG 59) and USS John Finn (DDG 113). Theodore Roosevelt’s embarked air wing consists of the “Tomcatters” of Strike Fighter Squadrons (VFA) 31, “Golden Warriors” of VFA-87, “Blue Diamonds” of VFA-146, “Black Knights” of VFA-154, “Liberty Bells” of Airborne Command and Control Squadron (VAW) 115, “The Gray Wolves” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 142, “Wolf Pack” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 75, “Eightballers” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 8 and “Providers” of Fleet Logistic Support Squadron (VRC) 30 Detachment 3.