The U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) conducted bilateral training exercises in the Philippine Sea with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) from January 27 – February 2. The Ship Anti-Submarine Warfare Readiness Effectiveness Measuring (SHAREM) program is a series of events focused on anti-submarine warfare procedures and tactics designed to measure how effectively surface ships and aircraft can detect and track submarines. Fitzgerald was joined by a Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft (MPRA) from Commander, Task Force 72, as well as the Japanese destroyer JS Takanami (DDG 110), a submarine, and MPRA aircraft.
“This is a great opportunity to improve our proficiency in the detection and tracking of submarines and enhances our ability to operate alongside our allies in the JMSDF,” said Cmdr. David Catterall.
“The relationship with JMSDF is a building block that helps our overall partnership with the Japanese. “I believe that by conducting the SHAREM and other exercises together, and analyzing the effectiveness of our tactics it will further improve our interoperability,” said Capt. Chase Sargeant, commander, Task Force 71/ Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15.
In the initial days of the event, the ships took advantage of their close proximity and ran maneuvering drills and unit coordination. Fitzgerald is assigned to Commander, Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15 while on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific. CTF 71/DESRON 15 is the Navy’s largest forward-deployed DESRON and the U.S. 7th Fleet’s principal surface force. U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet is the largest forward-deployed fleet and routinely operates and interacts with 35 maritime nations while conducting missions to preserve and protect critical regional partnerships.