Elements of the U.S. Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force will participate in annual bilateral training during an exercise called MultiSail 2018 March 8-14.
This is an annual training evolution that is designed to improve interoperability between navies. This year both navies will focus on improving fundamental skills like detecting, tracking, and defeating submarines, combat between surface elements, live-fire training, and interoperability between Japanese and U.S. Navy units.
“MultiSail is an opportunity for our ships to increase our combat proficiency at sea,” said Navy Capt. Jon Duffy, commander, Destroyer Squadron 15. “We have designed MultiSail to exercise how we detect, locate, track and engage simulated units at sea, in the air, on land, and underwater with our Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force allies to help us increase our interoperability in a range of mission areas.”
Participants include USS Antietam, USS Curtis Wilbur, USS Benfold, USS Mustin, JS Fuyuzuki, and several subsurface and other special units.
“MultiSail 2018 provides us a valuable opportunity to increase JMSDF tactical capabilities and to strengthen our interoperability with our U.S. Navy allies,” said Cmdr. Kazuteru Hirano, JS Fuyuzuki’s commanding officer. “The Japan-U.S. alliance is stronger than it has ever been, and it is growing stronger.” [source]
Analyst comment: Interoperability between these navies will become very important should hostilities break out with China. The U.S. will be able to use the Japanese MSDF as a naval force multiplier in the event of a conflict with China, which will have its naval forces concentrated in the region.