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YOKOSUKA, Japan - U.S. Navy and Royal Thai Navy forces practiced coordinated anti-submarine warfare (ASW) during Exercise Guardian Sea 2014, which began April 22 and continues through May 3.
"As more nations in the Asia-Pacific are operating submarines, it is a pleasure and a necessity for us to practice our ability to detect and track submarines with our oldest ally in the region," said Rear Adm. Stuart B. Munsch, commander, Task Force 74.
Guardian Sea is the latest in a long line of exercises conducted between the two navies including Cobra Gold, Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT), and Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT). Focused on shallow water anti-submarine warfare, Guardian Sea 2014 included representatives from several Royal Thai Navy and U.S. Navy staffs conduct in port training and a U.S. Navy P-3C Orion aircraft and Royal Thai Navy S-70B Helicopter.
Staff from U.S. Seventh Fleet Task Force 72, Task Force 73, Task Force 74, and Destroyer Squadron 7 will participated in subject matter exchanges, simulations and seminars.
"This exercise is a tremendous opportunity for our navies to practice one of the most complex naval disciplines in a very challenging maritime environment within Southeast Asia," said Capt. Fred Kacher, deputy commander, Destroyer Squadron Seven.
The exercise consisted of a robust in port phase of exchanges, briefings, and simulator training and an at sea phase where aircraft from each nation practiced ASW against a simulated submarine. Four Sailors from the Royal Thai Navy embarked a U.S. Navy P-3C Orion maritime surveillance aircraft during the practical portion of the exercise. Three U.S. Navy Sailors also had the opportunity to ride in the Royal Thai Navy S-70B helicopter.
Before takeoff, crewmembers and riders onboard the P-3 conducted a thorough walk through and safety brief in the aircraft with a focus on ASW equipment. Thai and U.S. subject matter experts took part in exchanging knowledge about the two nations' aircraft capabilities, procedures, experiences and discussed coordinated tactics.
This exercise enhanced the professional relationships between participating forces and improved the ability of both navies to conduct anti-submarine warfare and operations in a shallow-water environment.