By MCS Codie L. Soule, Commander Task Force 70, Public Affairs ─ 9 November 2018.
Philippine Sea ─ (NNS) ─ 9 November 2018. The Ronald Reagan Strike Group finished exercise Keen Sword 2019 with units from the U.S. Air Force, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force on November 8th.
During the exercise, the Ronald Reagan Strike Group conducted several events over 13 days with the JMSDF including logistics exchanges, replenishments-at-sea, senior leadership engagements, air-defense exercises, anti-submarine warfare exercises and a three day war-at-sea exercise.
“Keen Sword 2019 was a great opportunity to work with a country that has a well disciplined and highly motivated maritime force,” said Cmdr. Kevin Lucas, the Commander, Task Force (CTF) 70 lead planner for Keen Sword 2019.
During Keen Sword 2019, the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) hosted Rear Adm. Hiroshi Egawa, Commander, Escort Flotilla One and his staff, who acted as naval liaisons to increase the interoperability of the two maritime forces for the sea portion of Keen Sword.
“Although our maritime forces operate differently, Keen Sword 2019 gave us the capability to integrate our strike group with our JMSDF counterparts,” said Lucas.
Approximately 10,000 U.S. service members from commands such U.S. Pacific Fleet, U.S. Force Japan, 7th Fleet, 5th Air Force, 374th Airlift Wing, 18th Wing, 35th Fighter Wing and III Marine Expeditionary Force took part.
Keen Sword is a biennial exercise in a series of joint/bilateral field training exercises since 1980 designed to increase combat readiness and interoperability of U.S. force and the Japan Self-Defense Force.
The Ronald Reagan Strike Group is forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
For more news from Commander Task Force 70, visit www.navy.mil/local/ctf70/.