Yokosuka, November 17: Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and U.S. Navy have started a joint drill on Thursday. This is the annual bilateral training exercise of two countries. The exercise in the waters surrounding Okinawa is being seen as a show of force amid North Korea tension.
"For forward deployed forces, exercises are a critical component to readiness. They do, in fact, assure our partners," Joint Staff Director Lieutenant General Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. told. "They also exercise a powerful deterring effect," he said.
“14,000 U.S. personnel will participate, from units including the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) with embarked Carrier Air Wing CVW) 5, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the guided-missile destroyers USS Stethem (DDG 63), USS Chafee (DDG 90), USS Mustin (DDG 89), and a maritime patrol and reconnaissance squadron,” a statement from US Navy said.