(U.S. Navy file photo/MC3 Jess Lewis)

SAN DIEGO - Royal Canadian Navy, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and U.S. Navy ships will participate in a Task Group Exercise (TGEX) off the coast of Southern California, Oct. 20-31.

Participating units from the Royal Canadian Navy include Canadian Fleet Pacific, Halifax-class frigates HMCS Calgary (FFH 335) and HMCS Winnipeg (FFH 338), and Kingston-class coastal defence vessels HMCS Brandon (MM 710) and HMCS Yellowknife (MM 706). Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ship JS Teruzuki (DD 116) will participate as well.

U.S. Navy units include Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CCSG) 11; Commander, Destroyer Squadron (CDS) 23; Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11; USS Nimitz (CVN 68); guided-missile cruisers USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) and USS Chosin (CG 65); guided-missile destroyers USS Kidd (DDG 100), USS Milius (DDG 69), USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60), USS Pinckney (DDG 91) and USS William P Lawrence (DDG 110); littoral combat ships USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) and USS Freedom (LCS 1); and a submarine.

U.S. 3rd Fleet will lead the exercise that serves to train independently-deploying units in air defense, anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare and maritime interdiction operations, while also building cooperative relationships. This exercise is similar to Koa Kai, an annual certification exercise that typically takes place in the Hawaii operating area.

Canada, Japan and the U.S. regularly participate in exercises together, the most recent being the biennial Rim of the Pacific exercise that concluded Aug. 1, 2014.

Joint, interagency and international relationships strengthen U.S. Third Fleet's ability to respond to crises and protect the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its allies and partners.

In this file photo, HMCS Yellowknife (MM 706) transits San Diego Bay during a training exercise in October 2013. (U.S. Navy/MC2 Charlotte C. Oliver)