Lt. Cmdr. Shin-Ichi Masaki, weapons officer aboard Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ship JS Murasame (DD 101), gives a tour of Murasame to Capt. Paul Lyons, commander of Destroyer Squadron 15 and his staff following an anti-submarine warfare exercise as part of Pacific Bond 2013. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Paul Kelly)

PACIFIC OCEAN - Australia, Japan and U.S. Naval forces flexed the Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) aspects of exercise Pacific Bond 2013 near the Marianas Island chain, June 23.

"This ASW exercise is a building block toward acquiring the ability to seamlessly integrate on common initiatives to promote security and prosperity in the Western Pacific," said Lt. j.g. Joshua Foote, Destroyer Squadron 15's assistant plans officer.

"We will not only have improved our individual tactical proficiency, but we will also gain an increased understanding of how our each of us achieves success in difficult tactical situations through the particular skills each ally brings to the table."

The three navies integrated their skills to detect, track and defeat an adversary submarine in a variety of scenarios over the course of two days. They also conducted events to develop proficiency in other warfare areas such as air defense and surface warfare.

"My challenge was to generate an anti-submarine warfare team on board a ship that was predominantly an air defence frigate," said Lt. Cmdr. Jonathan Bannister, HMAS Sydney's torpedo and anti-submarine officer. "We are proud of the way [our] Sailors rose to the challenge and pulled out all stops to get involved, to learn and to do whatever it took to achieve ASW competency for the patrol."

Tri-lateral exercises like Pacific Bond are outlined to improve interoperability and readiness among navies.

"Another important aspect of this ASW exercise is working with our allies to strengthen our bonds, enhance maritime interoperability, and demonstrate our cooperative commitment to security, stability, and freedom of the seas in the Western Pacific," said Foote.

Pacific Bond is a multi-national naval exercise designed to advance participating nations' military-to-military coordination and capacity to plan and execute tactical operations in a multi-warfare environment.

Participating units from U.S. Navy are the guided missile destroyers USS Preble (DDG 88) and USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93); members of the forward deployed Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15; one P-3C aircraft; one submarine; Royal Australian Navy guided-missile frigate HMAS Sydney's (FFG 03) and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ship, JS Murasame (DD 101).