Joint at-sea exercises at Dutch Harbor, Alaska, Hawaii, the North Pacific Ocean and Japan’s Ogasawara Islands are helping to strengthen maritime cooperation and mutual respect between the United States and Japan, U.S. Coast Guard officials say.
Over the past year, the U.S. and Japan have shared exercises between Coast Guard cutters and their Japanese counterparts several times, the latest being in late September between the Coast Guard Cutter Kimball and the Japanese Military Special Defense Forces, aboard their Naval Training Vessel Kashima in the Aleutian Chain near Dutch Harbor.
Capt. Thomas D’Arcy, commanding officer of the Kimball, said his crew welcomed the opportunity to meet the Kashima and conduct those exercises.
“Seeing the crews aboard the Kimball and the Kashima line the rails for the passing of honors illustrates the spirit of collaboration between the U.S. Coast Guard and Japan’s maritime forces,” he said. “The exercise, movements and communications between our vessels were expertly executed and the salutes exchange exemplify the strength of our relationship with Japan as a key partner.”
Other joint exercises conducted over the past year include search and rescue collaboration with the 14th Coast Guard District in Hawaii and the Japanese Coast Guard Training Ship Kajima, as well as exercises between the Japanese Coast Guard and the Coast Guard cutters Kimball, Munro and Bertholf near the Ogasawara Islands and in the North Pacific, respectively.
The first joint exercise between the Kashima crew and a Coast Guard crew were in the Bering Sea last September in the form of a personnel exchange with the Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley.