The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force guided-missile destroyer JS Kirishima (DDG 174) sails alongside USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) during a in the Philippine Sea, Aug. 16. (U.S. Navy)

PHILIPPINE SEA - The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group (CSG), JS Kirishima, and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) personnel from the Commander, Escort Division (CCD) 6 embarked aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) started bilateral training, Aug. 14.

CSG units and JMSDF units worked together and participated in an air defense exercise, communication evolutions, and provided support for aircraft squadrons embarked aboard Ronald Reagan (CVN 76).

“Working side by side we have used this opportunity to train together to further streamline our communications through exercises and other tactical events,” said Lt. Jeff Kryski, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15’s assistant planning officer.

While embarked aboard Ronald Reagan and the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54), CSG and CCD 6 personnel conducted unit level training to increase interoperability between U.S. Navy and JMSDF units and improve the tactical skills of both maritime forces.

“Having CCD 6 personnel aboard greatly benefits both JMSDF and DESRON 15 by allowing both sides to continue our strong and lasting partnership,” said Kryski.

The Ronald Reagan Strike Group is forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in the support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Matthew Spano, left, instructs Ensign Taisei Sakai during a live-fire exercise aboard USS Antietam (CG 54), Aug. 15 (U.S. Navy/MC2 William McCann)

JMSDF and U.S. Navy officers watch an F/A-18E Super Hornet from Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 195 land aboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) during flight operations, Aug. 15 (U.S. Navy/MCSN Codie L. Soule)