In this file photo, U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ships steam in formation during Mult-Sail 2015. (U.S. Navy/MC2 Daniel M. Young)

GUAM - Commander, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, Commander, Task Force (CTF) 72 and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) are participating in the annual bilateral training exercise Multi Sail 2016, March 6-11.

Participants include six U.S. surface units, four JMSDF ships, and a number of subsurface and other special units.

Multi Sail is a combined training exercise aimed at enhancing successful maritime operations between the U.S. Navy and JMSDF. This training enables real-world proficiency in sustaining forces through finding, fixing, tracking and targeting units at sea, in the air, on land and underwater in response to a range of mission sets.

"As we continue to advance our weapons systems on U.S. surface ships and our capabilities with our allies, we must be prepared to employ these weapons in a tactically proficient manner. This is where the concept of Distributed Lethality is crucial to our success," said Capt. Christopher Sweeney, commander, Destroyer Squadron 15, responsible for eight forward deployed guided-missile destroyers. "Distributed Lethality allows us to use weapons at length, forces the adversary to prepare to defend itself at different axis's, and ensures our ships are resilient and distributed. With the realities of today and tomorrow, we must be ready to hold forces at risk and limit options for escalating conflict."

The participating forces will exercise a wide range of capabilities and demonstrate the inherent flexibility of our combined forces. These capabilities range from surface warfare, maritime security operations to anti-submarine and air defense exercises as well as complex warfighting.

Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG 85) will serve as the flagship for the exercise. “This event is the pinnacle of training for our forward deployed forces and the peak of coordination with JMSDF,” said Cdr. Ed Sundberg, commanding officer of McCampbell. “Our Sailors look forward to this opportunity to hone their warfighting skills.”

U.S. surface ships participating in addition to McCampbell include the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Barry (DDG 52), USS Benfold (DDG 65), USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54), USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) and the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 62).

The lessons learned from exercises like Multi Sail 2016 assist the U.S. and Japan in continuing to develop regional capabilities that provide a full range of options to succeed in defense of their interests and those of their allies and partners around the world.

This exercise builds interoperability and benefits from realistic, shared training enhancing our ability to work together to confront any contingency.