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US Increases Interoperability with Japan in First GUAMEX

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS140711-04
Release Date: 7/11/2014 7:18:00 AM

By Ensign Kellie Hall, USS Pinckney Public Affairs

WATERS NEAR GUAM (NNS) -- Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Pinckney (DDG 91) completed the first Guam Exercise (GUAMEX) alongside the Japan Maritime Defense Force (JMSDF), July 9.

Pinckney operated off the coast of Guam with eight JMSDF ships practicing naval gunnery, anti-submarine warfare, tactical maneuvering, communications drills, and personnel exchanges.

'The purpose of this exercise is aimed at enhancing the interoperability of the U.S. Navy and the JMSDF and strengthening personnel ties between our respective forces,' Pinckney's Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Frank Okata said.

Capt. Shan Byrne, commodore, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, embarked Pinckney to witness GUAMEX firsthand. At an all-hands call with Pinckney's crew, Byrne stated that GUAMEX allowed the ship to spend time at sea as a ship, learning as a crew, and completing missions as a team. He also remarked on Pinckney Sailors' significant achievements during their deployment.

Newly qualified Officer of the Deck Ensign Shannon McCarthy oversaw each of the exercises.

'GUAMEX was one of the most exciting evolutions we've seen on this deployment' McCarthy said. 'We conducted live-fire exercises and worked with more ships than usual and because we are nearing the end of the deployment we could really see how we have improved. GUAMEX was a great example of everything I have been taught as a junior officer for the last six and a half months; learn to adapt to any situation that can happen when you are working with so many moving parts.'

Pinckney is on deployment in the 7th Fleet area of operations protecting and defending the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

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