PACIFIC OCEAN - The Carl Vinson Strike Group completed a bilateral exercise in the Western Pacific with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), March 23.
Aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) conducted combined operations with Japanese helicopter destroyer JS Ise (DDH 182) in the South China Sea and waters near Okinawa, Japan. The operations began March 11 and included a series of training drills and Sailor-to-Sailor exchanges designed to enhance maritime interoperability between longstanding allies.
"I thought it was really cool to have this opportunity," said Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Jeremiah Karelius, a communications watch officer aboard Carl Vinson. Karelius hosted a communications operator from Ise during a four-hour exchange visit on the aircraft carrier.
"We talked about the similarities in our jobs and what made them different," he said. "Working together now makes it easier to understand how our systems are structured so that we can troubleshoot if we encounter problems while working together again."
Japanese and U.S. Sailors also conducted anti-submarine and air-defense exercises as well as training drills for multinational command and control functions. The three vessels also steamed in close formation and completed several replenishments-at-sea together.
"It was pretty fun," said Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Aaron Roberts who participated in an exchange with Japanese counterpart from Ise. "It was pretty much just an all-around learning experience for both parties. This was a great building block."
During the bilateral exercise, Carl Vinson also operated jointly with the U.S. Marine Corps. Okinawa-based MV-22B Osprey aircraft from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 262 completed carrier deck landing qualifications aboard Carl Vinson and helped transport personnel to and from shore.
Carl Vinson Strike Group is on a regularly scheduled deployment in the Western Pacific. It also includes Carrier Air Wing 2 and a complement of more than 70 aircraft, Destroyer Squadron 1 and guided-missile destroyer USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112).