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YOKOSUKA, Japan - Commander, Task Force (CTF) 70 staff conducted discussions with leadership from the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) at the Funakoshi Fleet headquarters, Nov. 30.
Rear Adm. Michael Donnelly, Commander, Task Force 70, and staff members discussed maritime strategy and how best to operate forces together at sea with JMSDF leaders.
“Meeting regularly with our good friends in the JMSDF is critical to ensuring we can fully exercise all our unique capabilities together,” Donnelly said. “Our alliance is strong because of talks like these, where we plan close and constant engagement at all levels and work through tough issues for the benefit of both nations”
The staff discussion centered on future exercises, operations, and engagements the 7th Fleet task force will conduct with their Japanese counterparts.
"We are confident that our efforts contribute to regional stability,” said Vice Adm. Akira Saito, commander, Fleet Escort Force. “Providing opportunities for regular discussion improves collaborations at sea. In addition, our close relationship is deepening not only strategically and tactically, but also culturally and socially.”
Flag talks allow commanders to plan for future operations, work through challenges or lessons learned, while building towards greater collaboration when their forces operate together in the maritime environment.
U.S. 7th Fleet exercises operational control of its units through designated Task Forces or Task Groups. These groups are organized along domain and functional lines. CTF 70 is theater strike warfare commander and theater air and missile defense commander.
CTF 70 is forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific. U.S. 7th Fleet is the largest forward-deployed fleet in the world, and with the help of and network of alliances and partners from 35 other maritime nations, the U.S. Navy has operated in the Indo-Pacific region for more than 70 years; providing credible, ready forces to help preserve peace and prevent conflict.