NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) ships moored in Norfolk Aug. 2, completing the at-sea phase of a training exercise.
The bilateral exercise, which culminated with a passing exercise, was designed to provide a realistic training environment for U.S. Navy and the JMSDF Training Squadron ships.
Units participating from the U.S. Navy were Carrier Strike Group 10, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26, guided-missile destroyer USS Nitze (DDG 94), guided-missile cruiser USS Vicksburg (CG 69) and guided-missile frigate USS Taylor (FFG 50).
Japanese participating units were Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Training Squadron, destroyer JS Mineyuki (DD 124), training vessel JS Asagiri (TV 3516) and training vessel JS Kashima (TV 3508).
DESRON 26 worked closely with the JMSDF training squadron, which trains the newly commissioned Japanese surface warfare officers, to replicate the operational challenges routinely encountered around the world.
According to Navy Counselor 1st Class (SW/EXW) Benjamin Hammer, the exercise made a contribution to the team-building efforts of the maritime partners.
"It's an honor to be involved in this exercise with the Japanese nation," said Hammer. "It shows we are willing to use diversity in our daily evolutions and it helps keep our relationships with other countries strong and our seas safe."
Hammer also said the exercise gave U.S. Sailors more insight into how different navies train and operate at sea.
"We all do things well, and when we pool those best practices together it makes us all that much better," said Hammer.
JMSDF Ensign Iawaynia, a training officer assigned to JS Kashima (TV 3508) said that the training was detailed and helped him develop skills that he would need as a surface warfare officer.
"I really learned a lot," said Iawaynia. "We have been numerous to places and our experiences with the U.S. Navy have been very positive. We all can use this knowledge throughout our careers. I will take everything I have learned back to my Sailors."
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.