USS McCampbell (DDG 85), USS Mustin (DDG 89), and USS Barry (DDG 52) maneuver near USS Stethem (DDG 63) during training last week en route to Guam and exercise MultSail. (U.S. Navy/MC2 Ryan Harper)

APRA HARBOR, Guam - The U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) are participating in the annual bilateral training exercise MultiSail 2017, March 6-10.

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

MultiSail is a bilateral training exercise which improves interoperability between U.S. and Japanese forces. This training provides real-world proficiency through detecting, locating, tracking, and engaging units at sea, in the air, on land, and underwater in response to a range of mission areas. This year's exercise will include in-port and at-sea training by Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center.

MultiSail started in 2004 as a pre-deployment training exercise and has expanded over the years to a bilateral exercise testing some of the latest equipment, tactics, and procedures.

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

The lessons learned from exercises like MultiSail 2017 will assist the U.S. Navy and JMSDF to develop regional capabilities which provide a full range of options in defense of their interests and those of their allies and partners around the world.

This exercise benefits from realistic, shared training scenarios which enhance the ability to work together to confront any contingency. MultiSail prepares forces which will provide the deterrence and stabilizing effects of a force-in-being, ready at the outset of a contingency without delays for build-ups or extensive mission rehearsal.

The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force's JS Hatakaze (DDG 171) steams near USS Stethem (DDG 63), Feb. 25. (U.S. Navy/MC2 Ryan Harper)