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PACIFIC OCEAN - The U.S. Navy joined forces with the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) to participate in a trilateral exercise, Pacific Bond 2013, June 22-26.
Pacific Bond is a multinational naval exercise designed to advance participating nations' military-to-military coordination and capacity to plan and execute tactical operations in a multi-warfare environment.
"We are honored to have the opportunity to work with our Royal Australian Navy and Japan Maritime Self Defense Force counterparts," said Capt. Paul Lyons, commander, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15. "As we continue to execute our strategic pivot to Asia as a nation, strong relationships and proven interoperability between our navies at the tactical level of execution will be even more vital in underwriting peace, security and stability in the region as well as preserving the national interests of the U.S. and our allies and partners."
Pacific Bond events include anti-submarine warfare exercises, anti-air warfare exercises, a helicopter visits, board, search and seizure exercise, and liaison officer exchanges.
"Pacific Bond is about conducting quality multinational maritime warfare maneuvers, with this year's exercise having a heavy focus on anti-submarine warfare," said Cmdr. Karl Brinckmann, HMAS Sydney's commanding officer. "One of the consistent highlights of the Pacific Bond series of exercises is the exchange of personnel between navies, and this year it is no exception with personnel exchanges between Sydney, JS Murasame and USS Preble. It doesn't get much better than operating with modern warships from two extremely professional navies."
Exercises like this are routine and demonstrate the continuum of training necessary to achieve greater levels of proficiency in complex mission areas. They enhance participating nations' ability to conduct multinational operations in-stride with little prior coordination. This is imperative to meeting and flexing to the demands of the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
"The purpose of our participation in this exercise is to improve our skills and to deepen our interoperability by conducting training together with the U.S. and Australian navies," said Capt. Hiroyuki Izumi, commander, Escort Division 1 of Murasame. "Conducting this trilateral exercise with the naval forces of Japan, the U.S. and Australia, all of whom have high operational skills and sophisticated equipment, is an excellent opportunity for improving JMSDF tactical skills. Through this exercise, we can make the relationship among our three nations even stronger. We would like to take every opportunity to continue these trilateral exercises."
Participants in Pacific Bond 2013 include the guided-missile destroyers USS Preble (DDG 88) and USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93); members of the forward deployed Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15; P-3C aircraft from Commander, Task Force 72; one submarine from Commander, Task Force 74; helicopters and personnel from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 25 and personnel from Naval Special Warfare Unit (NSWU) 1 joined forces with Royal Australian Navy guided-missile frigate HMAS Sydney (FFG 03) and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ship JS Murasame (DD 101).