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Annual Exercise (ANNUALEX)

ANNUALEX is a combined exercise composed of Japan and U.S. naval forces, conducted in the Sea of Japan. Annual Exercise (ANNUALEX) focuses on improving the military-to-military relationship between the U.S. and Japan. The purpose of ANNUALEX is to improve bilateral interoperability, defend Japan against maritime threats and to improve capability for surface warfare, air defense and undersea warfare.

White Beach, Katsuren, witnessed the assembly of six Marine Self-Defense Force ships and a US nuclear submarine, the Houston, November 3-4, as part of joint exercises taking place in various sectors of Japanese waters. The US-Japan Annual-Ex maneuvers were held between November 5 and 15, 1996. The six Marine SDF ships arrived on the 3th. In all, 120 of their ships took part, with 180 aircraft and 34,000 personnel. On the American side, there were 14 ships including the aircraft carrier USS Independence, 120 aircraft and 9,500 military personnel. The two sides undertook anti-submarine, anti-aircraft and anti-ship exercises. In Operation Keen Sword, another almost concurrent maneuver also held throughout Japan, the US forces joined the SDF, and jointly fielded 19,000 troops. Operation Keen Sword was held from November 4 to 17. The two allies acted under new agreements on mutual supply of military equipment and services.

The Japan Maritime Self Defense Force and the US Navy conducted a large bilateral maritime exercise November 5-12, 1998 in waters around Japan. The routine exercise, Annualex 10G, was designed to improve both navies' capability for coordinated and bilateral operations in the defense of Japan. In particular, Annualex 10G focused on enhancing military-to-military relationships, improving command and control, and air, undersea and surface warfare. Approximately 8,000 US naval personnel participated in the exercise.

Kitty Hawk deployed to the Sea of Japan Oct. 22, 1999 to participate in Exercises FOAL EAGLE and ANNUALEX 11G. In addition to large-scale ground and air operations in exercise ANNUALEX 99, operations in defense of Japan were also exercised at sea. Between 5-12 November, a bilateral Japan-U.S. maritime exercise took place in the Sea of Japan. This maritime exercise tested the ability of the U.S. Seventh Fleet and elements of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) to conduct coordinated bilateral operations in the defense of Japan.

The maritime operations focused on improving air, undersea and surface warfare, and command and control, as well as fostering enhanced military-to-military relationships. The centerpiece of the U.S. naval force was the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) with its Battle Group, known as Task Force 70. The USS Kitty Hawk, which is America's only forward-deployed aircraft carrier, is home ported in Yokosuka, Japan. Its offensive and defensive firepower is centered on Carrier Air Wing Five, which is forward deployed at Atsugi, Japan, and has about 75 aircraft on board, when deployed.

Coordinated operations included a bilateral refueling operation at sea while underway, known as underway replenishment. The JMSDF destroyer JDS Haruna (DD-141) conducted an underway replenishment together with the USS Kitty Hawk from the USNS Tippecanoe (TAO-199) in the Sea of Japan. Japanese naval officers also visited the USS Kitty Hawk to observe mission planning.

Eleven Japanese defense officials, including Adm. Yasumasa Yamamoto, Chief of Staff of the JMSDF, were invited aboard the USS Kitty Hawk to witness a series of air power demonstrations by CVW-5 pilots. There they were briefed by Rear Adm. Timothy J. Keating, Commander of Task Force 70. The officials toured the carrier and witnessed air maneuvers by F/A-18 jet fighter/attack aircraft, EA-6B Prowler radar jamming aircraft, and an E-2C Hawkeye radar aircraft which can warn the carrier of enemy aircraft or assist with air traffic control. The Japanese officials then boarded two helicopters of the JMSDF Anti-submarine Squadron 14 to visit the JDS Myoko (DD-175), also participating in the exercise.

The powerful presence of the huge, 5,000-man, aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk in Japan and its demonstrated capabilities in the important bilateral defense exercise ANNUALEX 99 underscored the continuing importance of the Japan-U.S. relationship.

More than 8,000 U.S. Navy sailors joined about 30,000 sailors from the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force in the nine-day AnnualEx exercise. This included six 7th Fleet ships assigned to Yokosuka: Kitty Hawk and CVW-5 were the principal striking arm for the ANNUALEX forces. Although ANNUALEX was primarily a surface and subsurface-based exercise, CVW-5 also had a role to play during the scenario. Other U.S. ships participating in ANNUALEX include Chancellorsville, USS Cowpens (CG 63), USS Gary (FFG 51), USS Cushing (DD 985), USS John S. MaCain (DDG 56), USS Honolulu (SSN 718), USNS Rappahannok (TAO 204) and USNS Victorious (T-AGOS 19). A maritime patrol squadron from Atsugi Naval Air Station and the Kitty Hawk's Carrrier Air Wing Five also joined in the exercise. Rear Adm. Robert Willard, Commander Task Force 70, led U.S. Navy forces participating in AnnualEx. Eighty ships and 180 aircraft from Japan also participated in the exercise.

USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5 wrapped up 10 days of training Nov. 17, 2000, honing readiness and improving interoperability through exercises with the Japanese Self Defense Force. Annual Exercise (ANNUALEX) 12G was a maritime exercise involving elements of the U.S. 7th Fleet and the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF). The broad range of scenarios in ANNUALEX had Kitty Hawk and CVW-5 Sailors involved in fleet-level exercises in which there are simulated submarine threats. The exercise, involving approximately 8,000 U.S. personnel, ended Nov. 17. As with every major exercise, there were lessons learned.

The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and the United States Navy conducted a large bilateral maritime exercise Nov. 4-11 in waters around Japan. The routine exercise called ANNUALEX 13G, was designed to improve both naval forces' capability for coordinated and bilateral operations in the defense of Japan. In particular, ANNUALEX 13G focused on enhancing military-to-military relationships, improving command and control and air, undersea and surface warfare. U.S. Navy units taking part in the exercise with JMSDF units included elements of Carrier Air Wing Five, based at Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan; USS Cowpens (CG 63); RV Cory Chouest; MV LTC Calvin P. Titus; a U.S. submarine; along with maritime patrol aircraft under the control of Commander, Task Force Seven Two. Captain Paul Holmes, commanding officer of USS Cowpens, was the officer commanding U.S. naval forces in the exercise. ANNUALEX 13g is one in a continuing series of ANNUALEX exercises and is a routine bilateral exercise between the U.S. Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. Approximately 750 U.S. naval personnel participated in the exercise.



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