PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii - Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) submarine JS Uzushio (SS 592) arrived at Naval Station Pearl Harbor to begin its annual training exercises with U.S. Navy submarine forces Feb.7.

"It is a pleasure to extend a heartfelt Submarine Force 'Aloha' to our friends from Japan on their arrival," said Rear Adm. Frank Caldwell, Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet. "I'm honored to reciprocate the warm hospitality that Japan shows our U.S. submarines when they deploy to the Western Pacific. While the Pacific Ocean spans many miles, any submariner here in Hawaii will tell you the U.S. and Japan are neighbors."

Commissioned March 9, 2000, and based in Yokosuka, Japan, the Oyashio-class submarine will be conducting both in port and at sea training on undersea tactics, anti-submarine warfare and war time strategies.

Uzushio is scheduled to attend training at the Naval Submarine Training Center Pacific (NSTCP) and the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) to conduct advanced sonar training and submarine damage control, as well as a series of Harpoon missile and torpedo operations during the visit.

"Your Sailors have a lot of experiences and deep knowledge. We want to learn a lot from them, "said Cmdr. Mitsutake Chihara, Uzushio commanding officer."It's not only training but also our friendship. I think the friendship between submariners is the strongest in the navies and I hope this visit will make the Japan-U.S. relationship stronger."

Continued joint training operations are essential aspects of maintaining strong relationships and enhancing interoperability with allies in the Pacific. Chihara emphasized the benefits of working and training together.

"This training gives a lot of merit for both submarine forces," said Chihara. It is an honor for Uzushio to be invited to the best submarine sanctuary in the Pacific and we are looking forward to improving our skills through the training at good facilities with good instructors."

The exercises are designed to enhance the tactical proficiency of warfare capabilities in a variety of sea operations and strengthen their knowledge in joint training operations.