America-class amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) conducted a bilateral replenishment-at-sea (RAS) with the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) Towada-class replenishment ship JS Hamana (AOE 424) on May 22. For the U.S. Navy’s only forward-deployed amphibious assault ship, operations like this highlight shared maritime capabilities among partners and allies, while sharpening logistics coordination and interoperability.
“It’s such an honor to work and train with our trusted ally and partner once again,” said Capt. Ken Ward, America’s commanding officer. “The captain and crew of the Hamana performed flawlessly, and were consummate professionals from planning through to completion of the replenishment-at-sea evolution. We always enjoy working with our Japanese friends, and we relish every opportunity we get to operate with each other. Every encounter delivers a positive reinforcement of our shared values and mutual commitment to security and stability.”
This is the first RAS between the Navy and JMSDF since USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) operated with both Hamana and the French frigate FNS Prairial (F 731) in the Pacific Ocean on Feb. 19.
America, lead ship of the America Amphibious Ready Group, along with the forward-deployed ships of Amphibious Squadron 11, are operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility to enhance interoperability with allies and partners, and serve as a ready response force to defend peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
The America class is a ship class of landing helicopter assault (LHA) type amphibious assault ships of the United States Navy (USN). The class is designed to put ashore a Marine Expeditionary Unit using helicopters and MV-22B Osprey V/STOL transport aircraft, supported by AV-8B Harrier II or F-35 Lightning II V/STOL aircraft and various attack helicopters. JS Hamana (AOE-424) is the third ship of the Towada-class replenishment ships of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force. She was commissioned on 29 March 1990 with the hull number AOE-424.