Naval forces from Standing NATO Maritime Group One conducted a passing exercise with a Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force squadron in the Baltic Sea.
NATO ships sailed alongside cadet training vessel JS Kashima and destroyer JS Makinami for the drills according to a press release. Japan is NATO’s longest-standing partner from outside Europe, and we work together on a range of issues, from security in Afghanistan to nuclear non-proliferation, maritime and cyber security.
“Even though Japan and most NATO nations are geographically far apart, we are connected by the sea,” said Commander of SNMG1, Commodore Carsten Fjord-Larsen.
“We also share a strong interest in always making the most of training opportunities with partner nations when meeting up at sea. And I’m proud to say that, this is exactly what we have been doing today.”
NATO and Japanese units have trained together before, most recently when the JMSDF Training Squadron was off of Spain earlier this month and they sailed with Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) ship HMCS Ville de Québec.
NATO units often utilise an opportunity of close proximity to develop a better understanding of each other’s procedures as well as seize the opportunity to learn from one another.
“Together with selected members from my staff, I had the great honor to visit JS Kashima and enjoyed the possibility to exchange views on the world seen from the sea with the Commander of the Japanese Training Squadron, Rear Admiral Hiroyuki Izumi” said Commodore Fjord-Larsen.


  1. Nice picture of an absalon class – surely the RN can do with these or their sister huitfeldt.

    Type 31 based on these is a no brainier really, but unlikely now

    Never mind – they are still a classy ship in my books

  2. This type of collaboration has to strengthen in the future. With increased pressure in the South China Seas, the West and its allies need to present a unified front and demonstrate that ‘might,’ will not go unchecked. Individual Western countries cannot match the new growing superpowers in terms of the numbers of naval vessels, but collectively, we can come very close. The US alone can not be expected to face off these nations without the support of its allies. Recent naval events must come as a warning of how a military imbalance can lead to compromise.

    • Good post Maurice- a sound assessment of the current geopolitical situation. The Royal Navy needs to be massively upgraded and increased in size. We have to be able to support our allies in the south china sea and maintain freedom of the seas- so Australia, New Zealand and Japan.
      I am also more worried about a resurgent Russia concentrating on niche areas to strive to obtain a military advantage over NATO’s European countries in key areas. Submarine force- the Russians are proliferating their submarine hull numbers especially new nuclear attack and conventionally powered improved kilo class. Their Oscar 2 class boats are being upgraded to deliver saturation cruise and hypersonice missle strikes.
      The only answer is to have an adequate UK air defence screen and possibly fixed or mobile AA batteries, phalanx systems and RAM system guarding key locations and a Royal Navy equipped with enough astute class attack submarines to prosecute any threat on the UK mainland as well as adequate ASW assets to ensure the continuation of Atlantic trade and routes for reinforcements to reach Europe from Canada and America.
      I do not think Russia will try a direct conflict but we encourage military conflict if we are militarily weakened as we are now due to needless defence cuts and austerity measures.
      2-3 more astute class submarines need to be ordered and we need to put the type 26 frigate order back up to 13 hulls. The type 31 class is probably going to end up being the Leander hull form I think although the iver huidtfield class are impressive and beefy surface combatants, I just do not think we can build a 6000 ton surface combatant with adequate armament for £250 million each.- although I would like to be proven wrong.

      • My main concern Mr Bell, is the possible threat to international waters and the serious ramifications that would have on free trade routes. No court on the globe could legislate against a navy instructed to physically obstruct legitimate passage, other than an opposing naval presence and in strength.

        What is necessary is a major review of the UK defence spending in order to ascertain what are the real priorities in the next 10/20 years, in light of the growing far eastern threat. During the last ten years or so, the emphasis was on land warfare and associated equipment, however, to some extent that has reduced even though the threat in Europe is growing.

        To construct the type of navy you suggest, would mean a cut in the other two services. Post-Brexit will rely heavily on international trade agreements and that will include shipping routes. Traditional methods of combating the urgent needs of the services have been to increase one, at the cost of the other two. That could change if a big push into alternative technologies, such as remote surveillance, both in the air and under the sea? Unmanned vessels should be seriously considered and operated from multiple control centres in order to maintain observation if one or more control hubs is neutralised. Imagine two medium unmanned warships to one manned lead ship. That ratio would treble the RN’s presences in any given theatre. The unmanned vessel I’m suggesting would allow for sea to air interception, plus a modest ship to ship capability. These vessels could also be stationed as pickets for months on end, thus allowing a manned warship to enjoy greater operating envelopes? Yes, okay, it all sounds a bit ‘mind cloudish’ but we all need to begin to design ways and means that break down some of the traditional paradigms.

      • In the spirit of keeping your friends close and your enemies even closer, the PLAN has sent a frigate to participate in Exercise Kakadu 2018 with the RAN.

        The biannual exercise is taking place both ashore and at sea off the coast of Darwin. This year’s exercise involves 27 nations and more than 3000 personnel which represents the largest military commitment to the exercise since it began in 1993.

        The Huangshan is one of China’s new generation Type 054A frigates of which the PLAN already has 26 in service with more on the slipways.

  3. What happened to the excersise we were supposed to be doing with them that got cancelled because of bad weather? Is it being rescheduled or shelved altogether?

    • Shelved because HMS Albion had other places to be. She just did a FONOPs in the SCS and now I believe she’d berthed in Singapore

  4. Great ship with plenty of ‘presence’ and we could have had five of those or close, makes me want to cry. Using the IVH as the base design for T31 was a brilliant bit of innovation by Babcock and thinking out of the box, and if we had ported over most of the combat systems from the T23’s, Artisan, 4.5 gun, CAMM and Harpoon then I’m sure we should have been able to build them for £250 million. Certainly Babcock seemed confident they could , its what the Danes did after all ? Don’t get me wrong the new look Leander has potential IMHO, especially if it comes with all the kit shown in the CGI, pretty much everything I have listed above but to my mind at 3,600 FLD its still just too small. Fine for the 80’s but no one is building true ocean going combatants of that size anymore, I guess the Anzacs were the last. If BAE/CL could up the size by 1,000 tonnes, say to 4,600 FLD and stretch the hull to perhaps 127 metres which would allow for a Merlin sized hanger and a decent number of CAMM rather than the rather pathetic 12 it sports at the mo then they might just get my vote. However ! Still mourning the death of Arrowhead 140 , come on Babcock – can’t believe you have given up without even a fight ?


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