Naval forces from Canada and Germany have joined Australia, Japan, and the US to conduct multilateral, multinational exercise ANNUALEX 2021.

The exercise started on 21 November and runs until 30 November. It is being conducted in the Philippine Sea, off the southern coast of Japan.

The 2021 iteration of multilateral exercise ANNUALEX is being conducted by the Royal Australian Navy, Royal Canadian Navy, German Navy, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and the US Navy.

This yearly naval training drill is led by JMSDF.

Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1 commander rear admiral Dan Martin said: “ANNUALEX presents an opportunity to strategically coordinate, collaborate and further strengthen our network of partnerships and alliances, enabling us to remain a flexible, adaptable and persistent combined force capable of quickly projecting power, where and when needed.”

During the exercise, participating naval forces will operate in a maritime scenario that is complex and integrated with surface and air engagements.

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Activities in the exercise are designed to enhance war-fighting readiness and maritime superiority in the Indo-Pacific region.

This marks the first time in 20 years that the German Navy is participating in maritime drills in the Indo-Pacific region.

German Navy chief vice admiral Kay-Achim Schönbach said: “The German Navy will strengthen its commitment to the region through deeper security and defence cooperation with regional partners.

“Germany would seek to send a frigate every two years to the Indo-Pacific region with a supply ship.”

Led by CSG 1, US Navy units participating in ANNUALEX include aircraft carrier USNS John Ericsson, USS Carl Vinson, Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain, Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stockdale (DDG 106) of DESRON 1, Henry J Kaiser-class Fleet replenishment vessel USNS Rappahannock and (T-AO as well as nine squadrons of embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 are participating on behalf of the US Navy in the exercise.