PACIFIC OCEAN, March 27, 2018 —
The Carl Vinson Strike Group completed a bilateral exercise in the Western Pacific with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, March 23.
The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer conducted combined operations with Japanese helicopter destroyer JS Ise in the South China Sea and waters near Okinawa, Japan.
The operations began March 11 and included a series of training drills and sailor exchanges designed to enhance maritime interoperability between longstanding allies, officials said.
Comparing Similarities and Differences
“I thought it was really cool to have this opportunity,” said Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Jeremiah Karelius, a communications watch officer aboard Carl Vinson.
Karelius hosted a communications operator from Ise during a four-hour exchange visit on the U.S. aircraft carrier. “We talked about the similarities in our jobs and what made them different,” he said. “Working together now makes it easier to understand how our systems are structured so that we can troubleshoot if we encounter problems while working together again.”
Japanese and American sailors also conducted anti-submarine and air defense exercises as well as training drills for multinational command-and-control functions. The three vessels also steamed in close formation and completed several replenishments at sea together.
Great Building Block
“It was pretty fun,” said Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Aaron Roberts, who participated in an exchange with his Japanese counterpart from Ise. “It was pretty much just an all-around learning experience for both parties. This was a great building block.”
During the bilateral exercise, Carl Vinson also operated jointly with the Marine Corps’ Okinawa -based MV-22B Osprey aircraft from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 262. The Ospreys completed carrier deck landing qualifications aboard Carl Vinson and helped transport personnel to and from shore.
Carl Vinson Strike Group is on a regularly scheduled deployment in the Western Pacific. It also includes Carrier Air Wing 2 and a complement of more than 70 aircraft, Destroyer Squadron 1 and the guided-missile destroyer USS Michael Murphy.