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PHILIPPINE SEA - Naval forces from Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan and the U.S. concluded a nine-day multilateral, multinational annual exercise in the Philippine Sea, Nov. 30.
Led by Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), this year’s ANNUALEX concluded with a joint press conference with Vice Adm. Hideki Yuasa, chief of the JMSDF Fleet, and Vice Adm. Karl Thomas, commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, hosted on Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70).
"Throughout ANNUALEX, the JMSDF have improved our bilateral response capability and interoperability with the U.S. Navy, as well as deepened our mutual understanding and cooperation with the Australian, Canadian and German navies,” said Vice Adm. Hideki Yuasa, Commander in Chief, Self Defense Fleet, JMSDF. “The relationship between the JMSDF and the U.S. Navy has never been stronger, which contributes to our strengthening the response capabilities of the Japan-U.S. alliance while building a global partnership.”
During ANNUALEX 2021, the five participating international navies included the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), German Navy (GMN), Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), and U.S. Navy.
“The foundational success of ANNUALEX is rooted in our alliances and partnerships,” said Thomas. “Cooperation among like-minded countries and regional partners underscores our commitment to high seas freedoms and the rule of law, which is imperative to ensure a free and open regional order. We look forward to further strengthening the bonds between our nations and our navies.”
The focus of this year’s ANNUALEX was strengthening collective readiness and maritime superiority, with unique opportunities for interoperability, advanced integrated training and high-end fighting strategies. Training conducted during the exercise included enhanced planning, advanced maritime communication operations, anti-submarine warfare operations, air warfare operations, live-fire gunnery events, replenishments-at-sea, cross-deck flight operations and maritime interdiction operations.
“These operations are part of the U.S. Navy’s routine presence throughout the Indo-Pacific,” said Rear Adm. Dan Martin, commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1. “Regularly exercising and operating with our allies and partners strengthens our relationships and fortifies our trust in one another. As a multinational team, we can deter aggression, guarantee regional peace and stability, and remain a skilled and ready force, able to respond to any regional crisis or contingency.”
This year’s ANNUALEX also included the exercise’s first-ever combined information warfare (IW) events during which the navies worked together on integrated command and control systems, collaborative threat and environmental assessments, and electromagnetic emission control measures.