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PACIFIC OCEAN - The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) joined the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Towada-class replenishment ship JS Hamana (AOE-424) and the French Floréal-class light frigate FNS Prairial to conduct a tri-lateral replenishment-at-sea (RAS), Feb. 19.
The RAS allowed French, Japanese and United States Sailors to complete an underway evolution highlighting the capabilities of their respective navies.
“We integrate, train, and plan with our allies any chance that we can find,” said Cmdr. Diane Cua, commanding officer of Curtis Wilbur. “Being able to conduct a replenishment-at-sea with not only the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, but the French Navy as well, is an amazing opportunity to show a unified effort in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility.”
During the RAS, Curtis Wilbur and Prairial came alongside Hamana to refuel and receive supplies.
"The ship-handling skills of the U.S. Navy and the French Navy were extremely high, which encouraged me as we are engaged in the same mission with same mind at sea," said Cmdr. Ikeda Masato, commanding officer of Hamana. "Even during COVID-19, making the most of the naval unique flexibility and mobility with taking all countermeasures, we conducted the trilateral exercise and were able to deepen the cooperation with the U.S. Navy and the French Navy."
Curtis Wilbur is underway conducting operations in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific, while assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the Navy's largest forward-deployed DESRON and the U.S. 7th Fleet's principal surface force.
U.S. 7th Fleet conducts forward-deployed naval operations in support of U.S. national interests in the Indo-Pacific area of operations. As the U.S. Navy's largest forward-deployed fleet, 7th Fleet employs 50 to 70 ships and submarines across the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans. U.S. 7th Fleet routinely operates and interacts with 35 maritime nations while conducting missions to preserve and protect a free and open Indo-Pacific region.