Warships from Australia, Japan, U.K., U.S. in joint exercise in Indian Ocean

Naval forces from Australia, Japan, the U.K., and the U.S. joined together in multilateral Maritime Partnership Exercise (MPX) 2021 to conduct naval training in the eastern Indian Ocean, Oct. 15-18.

During the multinational exercise, the Royal British Navy (RN), Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), and U.S. Navy engaged in enhanced planning, advanced maritime communication operations, anti-submarine warfare operations, air warfare operations, live-fire gunnery events, replenishments-at-sea, cross-deck flight operations, and maritime interdiction operations.

“MPX is high-end, multi-domain maritime training at its finest,” said Rear Adm. Dan Martin, commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1. “All four participating nations have enduring interests in the security, stability, and well-being of the Indo-Pacific region. We will continue to fine-tune our collective assets – speed, precision, lethality – in order to maximize our warfighting proficiency with our regional trusted partners.”

Elements of the Royal Australian, British, Japanese, and American maritime forces routinely operate together in the Indo-Pacific, fostering a cooperative approach toward regional security and stability. This exercise brings multiple allies and partners together to strengthen interoperability and increase operations in the Indian Ocean region.

“The U.S. Navy routinely conducts integrated training operations with its international partners to demonstrate our commitment and investment in the Indo-Pacific region,” said Capt. Gilbert Clark, commodore, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 1. “In addition to preserving rules-based international order in the global maritime commons, the U.S. Navy’s unwavering pledge to maritime security in the Indo-Pacific is critical to international trade and commerce.”

CSG 1 recently conducted a variety of bilateral exercises with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and tri-carrier operations with the Royal Navy’s HSM Queen Elizabeth (R08) and U.S. Navy’s Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76).

“Multilateral and bilateral exercises demonstrate our steadfast pledge to our partners and our collective desire to maintain a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific,” said Capt. P. Scott Miller, commanding officer, USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). “The closer we train together, the more quickly and easily we can come together when our combined forces are needed.”

Participating from the Royal Australian Navy are Anzac-class frigate HMAS Ballarat (FFH 155) and HMAS Sirius (O 266).

“Our ongoing cooperation with Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States further strengthens our professional mariner relationships and enhance our interoperability,” said Cmdr. Antony Pisani, commanding officer HMAS Ballarat. “Both Ballarat and Sirius have spent significant time deployed to the region this year and Maritime Partnership Exercise adds to the list of excellent navy-to-navy activities we’ve enjoyed with the United States.”

Royal British Navy participants included Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 21, consisting of HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08); HMS Defender (D36); HMS Kent (F78); HMS Richmond (F2389); RFA Tidespring (A136); RFA Fort Victoria (A387); and USS The Sullivans (DDG 68).

JMSDF participants included Izumo-class multipurpose operation destroyer JS Kaga (DDH 184), Murasame-class destroyers JS Murasame (DD 101).

U.S. Navy participants included Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1, consisting of aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70); Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2; Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57); Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stockdale (DDG 106); and Fleet Replenishment Oiler Henry J. Kaiser-class USNS Yukon (T-AO 202).

CSG 1 is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations. This marks the first time that a CSG is deployed in the 7th Fleet area of operations with the Air Wing of the Future (AWOTF), including the first operational deployment for both the F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter and Navy CMV-22B Osprey.

CSG 1 provides a combat-ready force to protect and defend the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its regional allies and partners. Collectively, the VINCSG consists of more than 7,000 Sailors, capable of carrying out a wide variety of missions around the globe.

Image credit: Petty Officer 2nd Class Haydn Smith.  Ships and aircraft from the U.S. Navy, Royal Australian Navy, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, and U.K. Royal Navy transit in formation as part of Maritime Partnership Exercise (MPX) 2021, Oct. 17, 2021. MPX 2021 is a multilateral maritime exercise between the Royal Australian Navy, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, U.K. Royal Navy, and U.S. maritime forces, focused on naval cooperation, interoperability and regional security and stability in the Indo-Pacific and is an example of the enduring partnership between Australian, Japanese, U.K. and U.S. maritime forces, who routinely operate together in the Indo-Pacific, fostering a cooperative approach toward regional security and stability.

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