The US and several partner nations have kicked off the multinational Sea Dragon 2021 exercise in Guam.

The annual exercise is a multi-lateral anti-submarine warfare drill aimed at improving interoperability among the participating forces to adequately respond to regional contingencies.

This year, members of the Royal Australian Air Force, Canadian Air Force, Indian Navy, and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force are participating in the exercise.

The Sea Dragon 2021 will focus on anti-submarine warfare (ASW) training and excellence to include 125 hours of in-flight training.

The scope of the programme will include tracking simulated targets as well as the final problem of finding USS Chicago, a US Navy Los Angeles class nuclear submarine.

Two P-8 Poseidon aircraft from Patrol Squadron 5 (VP-5), the ‘Mad Foxes’, also flew to Andersen Air Force Base in Guam to participate in the exercise.

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Officer in Charge (OIC) Patrol Squadron 5 lieutenant commander Kyle Hooker said: “As OIC, I am eager for the opportunity to further develop our partnerships with Japan, India, Canada, and Australia while at Sea Dragon 2021.

“The Covid environment will be challenging for all our participants, but I know we will come together to adapt and overcome while executing our goal of Anti-Submarine Warfare interoperability.”

The US 7th Fleet is the US Navy’s largest forward-deployed fleet and operates around 50-70 ships and submarines, as well as 140 aircraft with approximately 20,000 sailors.

The fleet’s operational area includes more than 124 million square kilometres.