The carrier strike group Abraham Lincoln conducted operations with Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force in the Philippine Sea and East China Sea on Monday.
The carrier battle group has partnered with Japanese destroyers Inazuma and Kongo to complete air warfare training and other exercises aimed at enhancing integrated maritime operations and combat readiness, the Navy said.
“Our enduring commitments to our relationship in the Indo-Pacific region continue to grow and flourish through integrated and bilateral sea exercises, including the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force,” said Rear Adm. JT Anderson, commanding officer of CSG 3, in a navy. Press release. “These exercises demonstrate our collective credible capabilities in combat while preserving our common interests and values.”
The operations come after the Navy announced a week ago that a US aircraft carrier was operating off the Korean Peninsula in the Sea of Japan for the first time since 2017. The move follows test firing by North Korea with an intercontinental ballistic missile in March.
“Routine bilateral operations like this reassure our allies and partners of the American commitment to maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific,” said Cmdr. Hayley Sims, spokeswoman for the 7th Fleet, said in an email to the Navy Times. “Our training enhances the credibility of conventional deterrence by demonstrating the strength of our bilateral partnerships.”
The Lincoln departed San Diego Jan. 3 for a regular deployment and is the first to include Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314, the Marine Corps’ first F-35C Lightning II stealth fighter squadron. Lincoln’s carrier battle group includes the guided missile cruiser Mobile Bay and the guided missile destroyers Fitzgerald, Gridley, Sampson and Spruance.