Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Kimball conducted a joint exercise with the Japanese Military Monday, off the coast of Dutch Harbor.
The Kimball crew and the Japanese Military Special Defense Forces crew aboard the Naval Training Vessel Kashima operated in the Aleutian Island chain.
The two crews exchanged visual communications and honors, as both crews lined their respective ship’s rails for a uniform salute.
Over the past year, the U.S. and Japan have increasingly strengthened their relationship in maritime.
The Coast Guard said that the them and the JMSDF have shared past missions. Missions done in collaboration include search and rescues in Hawaii, and exercises between the Japanese Coast Guard and the Coast Guard Cutters Kimball, Munro and Bertholf in the North Pacific. The first joint exercise between the Kashima crew and a Coast Guard crew occurred in the Bering Sea last September.
“The Kimball crew welcomed the opportunity to meet the Kashima and conduct a professional exercise at sea,” Kimball’s commanding officer, Capt. Thomas D’Arcy, said in a release by the Coast Guard. “Seeing the crews aboard the Kimball and the Kashima line the rails for the passing of honors illustrates the spirit of collaboration between the U.S. Coast Guard and Japan’s maritime forces. The exercise, movements and communications between our vessels were expertly executed and the salutes exchanged exemplify the strength of our relationship with Japan as a key partner.”
According to a release, the Kashima is one of four training ships that belong to the JMSDF and is used to train new officers. About 110 newly-commissioned officers and more than 300 crewmembers are aboard the ship for its nearly two-month journey from Hiroshima to Alaska, up to the Arctic and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, then back to Japan.