US Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Thomas A. Higgins/UNRELEASED
US Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Thomas A. Higgins/UNRELEASED

VP-45, Japan Maritime Defense Forces conclude ANNUALEX 2019

by Seaman Thomas Higgins
Patrol Squadron 45

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan--The U.S. Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) completed their largest bilateral exercise, ANNUALEX, in the Sea of Japan Nov. 21.

ANNUALEX is a bilateral training exercise between the Navy and JMSDF conducted in air, surface and subsurface battlespaces. The exercise allows the nations to practice and evaluate the interoperability elements required to effectively and cohesively respond to the defense of Japan or to a regional contingency in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, while continuing to build bilateral relationships.

Commander, Task Force (CTF) 72 participated in the Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) portion of the exercise, sending P-8A Poseidon aircraft from Patrol Squadron (VP) 45’s “World Famous Pelicans” and VP-10’s “Red Lancers”. The squadrons conducted over 15 ASW flights throughout the course of the event.

“For CTF-72 and VP-45, ANNUALEX 19 provides another great opportunity to participate in high level exercises that build confidence with our maritime partners and reinforces those internationally recognized norms, rules, standards and practices of maritime law,” said Commander Paul W. Nickell, Commanding Officer, VP-45. “The challenges in the INDO-PACOM Area of Responsibility require closer integration than ever before, and ANNUALEX optimally allows us to align our warfighting capabilities with our hosts here in Japan.”

The U.S. and our JMSDF partners practiced a wide range of war fighting capabilities to include ASW, long range maritime strikes, as well as surface-to-air and air-to-air combat exercises.

Around 8,500 U.S. Sailors, 13 ships, submarines and various shore-based aircraft participated in ANNUALEX.

VP-45, based out of Naval Air Station Jacksonville, is operating from Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa, Japan. The squadron is conducting maritime patrol and reconnaissance as well as theater outreach operations within U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.

Photo Caption:
SEA OF JAPAN (Nov. 13, 2019) - Petty Officer 2ND Class Alicia Halderson, an Electronic Warfare Operator for Patrol Squadron 45, participates in an Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) exercise aboard a P-8A Poseidon during ANNUALEX, Nov 13.

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