YOKOSUKA, Japan --
U.S. 7th Fleet hosted leadership and staff from III Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) and Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) at Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan, for naval integration staff talks, Dec. 6-9.
The staff talks are held biannually to align naval leadership, discuss opportunities for increased cooperation, and improve interoperability. This is the first time leadership from JSDF have participated in the talks, which will continue to strengthen our alliance.
“I sincerely appreciate the strength of the relationship between U.S. naval forces and those of the Japan Self-Defense Force," said Vice Adm. Karl Thomas, commander U.S. 7th Fleet. "This past week we took advantage of a tremendous opportunity to discuss common challenges, leverage our subject matter expertise, and apply critical thinking to potential scenarios--all with an eye toward transparent learning to ensure a peaceful, conflict-free Indo-Pacific region."
Topics of discussion included joint naval integration, logistical support, and possible future engagements.
“It was a great achievement that admirals and generals from Japan and the United States gathered together to deepen discussions on all possible situations, share mutual recognition, and generate various ideas,” said Vice Adm. YUASA Hideki, Commander in Chief, Self-Defense Fleet, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. “It is very beneficial for each service in both military branches to work together organically. The Self-Defense Fleet works closely with 7th Fleet to address any contingencies in Japan and the U.S., evolving interoperability with the U.S. Navy.”
Participants were encouraged to present ideas on ways to further challenge the Navy-Marine Corps team to innovate beyond routine operations.
III MEF, the only permanently deployed Marine Expeditionary Force, is a fully scalable Marine Air Ground Task Force, capable and ready to respond to crisis and contingencies throughout the Indo-Pacific.
7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy's largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with 35 maritime nations in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region.