U.S. Coast Guard, Japanese Military conduct at-sea exercises

The Coast Guard Cutter Kimball’s crew lines the rails in anticipation of rendering honors to the Japan Navy Training Vessel Kashima during an at-sea exercise near Dutch Harbor, Alaska, Sept. 20, 2021. U.S. Coast Guard photo

U.S. Coast Guard and Japanese Military Special Defense Forces continued a shared mission of strengthening their relationship in the maritime domain in September with joint exercises off the coast of Dutch Harbor.

Crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Kimball and the Japanese Military Special Defense Forces (JMSDF) operated alongside one another in the Aleutian Chain to exchange visual communications, followed by honors, with their respective crews lining their ship’s rails for a uniform salute.

“The Kimball crew welcomed the opportunity to meet the Kashima and conduct a professional exercise at sea,” said Capt. Thomas D’Arcy, commanding officer of the Kimball. “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,” he said. “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.”

The two nations have strengthened their relationship in the maritime domain over the past year by collaborating in a search and rescue exercise with the 14th Coast Guard District in Hawaii and the Japanese Coast Guard Training Ship Kajima, as well as exercises between the Japanese Coast Guard and the Coast Guard Cutters Kimball, Munro and Bertholf near the Ogasawara Islands and in the North Pacific, respectively.

The Kashima, one of four training ships of the JMSDF, is used for training new officers. Some 110 newly commissioned officers and over 300 crewmembers are on board the Kashima for its nearly two-month journey from Hiroshima to Alaska, up to the Arctic and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, then back to Japan,