The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group conducted a bilateral maritime exercise with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force recently.

The exercise, which focused on increasing combat readiness and warfighting excellence, included USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), USS John Finn (DDG 113), JS Kongo (DDG 173), and JS Asahi (DD 119).

“Carrier Strike Group Nine is grateful for the opportunity to work with our partners in the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force to increase our proficiency and interoperability,” said Rear Adm. Doug Verissimo, commander, Carrier Strike Group Nine.

“The longstanding relationship between our two great nations is critical to maintaining security and stability in the Indo-Pacific. It is only alongside allies and partners that we can maintain the rules-based order that has allowed continued prosperity around the world.”

This is the first bilateral exercise between the U.S. and Japan of 2021.

“It is a great honor for me to conduct the first bilateral exercise in 2021 with CSG-9, USS Theodore Roosevelt, USS Bunker Hill, and USS John Finn as the senior officer of the JMSDF participants”, said CAPT Masaru Fujisaki, Kongo’s commanding officer.

“This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Operation Tomodachi, which proved the importance of close cooperation between the JMSDF and the U.S. Navy. I would like to express my gratitude to our friends who have worked day and night to strengthen the relationship between us, and I am confident that our ties are an enduring pillar to safeguard the peace and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region.”

The USS Theodore Roosevelt departed San Diego for a scheduled deployment to the Indo-Pacific on December the 23rd.

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