U.S., Japanese Train Together In ANNUALEX
Story Number: NNS061113-01
Release Date: 11/13/2006 7:06:00 AM
From USS Kitty Hawk Public Affairs
USS KITTY HAWK, At Sea (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy and Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force kicked off their largest bilateral exercise, ANNUALEX, Nov. 9.
About 8,500 U.S. Sailors are taking part aboard 13 ships and submarines and various shore-based aircraft.
About 90 JMSDF ships and 130 aircraft are participating, and are “an absolutely critical partner with whom we train throughout the year,” said Battle Force 7th Fleet Commander, Rear Adm. Douglas McClain. McClain is commanding participating U.S. forces from his flagship, USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63), with Japanese military officials commanding their own forces.
“We train across the spectrum of warfare areas at the highest levels,” McClain said about the exercise. “Each time we work together, our relationship and friendship build upon the previous level.”
This is the 18th ANNUALEX.
“We don’t exercise with anyone else on this scale,” said Cmdr. Russ Blair, Battle Force 7th Fleet exercise and plans officer. “This is [also] one of the largest fleet training exercises we participate in.”
U.S. ships taking part in ANNUALEX are Kitty Hawk, the guided-missile cruisers USS Cowpens (CG 63) and USS Shiloh (CG 67); guided-missile destroyers USS Curtis W. Wilbur (DDG 54), USS John S. McCain (DDG 56), USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62), USS Stethem (DDG 63), USS Lassen (DDG 82), USS Mustin (DDG 89), USS Halsey (DDG 97); the high-speed vessel Swift (HSV 2) and submarines USS Seawolf (SSN 21) and USS Asheville (SSN 758).
U.S. 7th Fleet is made up of about 50 ships, 120 aircraft and 20,000 Sailors and Marines in the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans.
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