YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- The commander of Submarine Force U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMSUBPAC), kicked off the opening ceremony of the 13th annual Asia-Pacific Submarine Conference (APSC) July 22 at the Mercure Hotel in Yokosuka, Japan.
The U.S. Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) co-hosted the event July 21-24 to enhance regional cooperation and develop relationships among Asia-Pacific submarine operators, including nations that are not considered allies.
"This is an important conference because we're bringing together 18 different nations representing literally thousands of submariners of nations that have cumulatively over 240 submarines," said Rear Adm. James F. Caldwell, Jr., commander, SUBPAC. "Our focus today is on submarine escape, survivability, and rescue. This is a very, very important issue. It crosses international boundaries.
"If we ever have to rescue downed submariners, it's going to be a multilateral and multinational event," said Caldwell. "We're going to count on the expertise and cooperation of all the nations that would be present wherever that submarine might go down. So, we're stressing that here today as a very, very important tenant of submarine rescue; cooperation, communications, exercising at sea, tabletop events to expand our expertise and to promote cooperation."
The U.S. agenda at the APSC will focus on its experience in its latest submarine rescue exercises and how it can support other countries in submarine rescue.
"We are here today to share our experiences, our lessons learned from exercises at sea and make sure that we have these great dialogues and relationships so that we can count on each other should we need to do this," said Caldwell.
This year's attendees included representatives from Australia, Canada, China, Ecuador, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Vietnam, and the United States.
For more news from Commander Submarine Group 7, visit www.navy.mil/local/csg7/.