HMCS Regina conducts manoeuvres with Japanese Navy in South China Sea

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While sailing in support of Operation PROJECTION, Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Regina and Naval Replenishment Unit (NRU) Asterix conducted a bilateral cooperative exercise with the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force off the coast of Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam from June 13 to 15.

Called KAEDEX 19-1, this key international engagement included Japanese helicopter carrier JS Izumo, frigate JS Akebono and destroyer JS Mursame.

The exercise was conducted in the South China Sea following a port visit to Cam Ranh Bay, and kicked off with a photo exercise including all four ships and two of their maritime helicopters.

Following that exercise, HMCS Regina’s commanding officer and unit public affairs representative conducted a helicopter transfer to JS Akebono. Commanding officers of both naval warships discussed KAEDEX 19-1 and operations for Japan and Canada in the region.

Training serials in KAEDEX 19-1 included an anti-submarine warfare exercise, tactical manoeuvres, replenishments at sea, and overnight screen exercises. A key training serial involved tactical manoeuvres that focused on interoperability, comparing and contrasting the training conducted by both navies.

The actions by each ship enabled the teams to work together, deliver key reports to the other ships in a timely fashion, and execute effective training. The ease of cross-training suggests our military processes are aligned, leaving room for more interoperability in the future.

Amidst the numerous exercises, Regina and JS Akebono conducted an exchange of personnel: two officers from each ship spent 24 hours on their partner ships.

During this time, sailors from both navies were given extensive guided tours of the ships, including their respective bridges, operations rooms and machinery control rooms. The exchange officers were immersed in the culture of their host ships and were able to experience life in the shoes of their fellow sailors, increasing military and cultural ties between Canada and Japan.

This assisted the ships in increasing their comprehension, mutual insight and experiences with Japanese and Canadian navies, which will assist the RCN in future bilateral engagements.

Due to the growing geopolitical importance of the Asia-Pacific, Canada is enhancing its presence and defence engagements in the region. In addition to challenging and developing our sailors by working with a foreign nation, KAEDEX 19-1 directly supports Canada’s national defence policy, Strong Secure and Engaged, by furthering defence relations with a key regional partner like Japan.

These exercises are also tangible demonstrations of Canada’s efforts to increase operational presence and capabilities in the Asia-Pacific region, and demonstrate Canada’s commitment to working with partner navies to contribute to the region’s security.

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