Naval ships of the US, Australia, Japan and the Philippines have conducted a quadrilateral exercise in the waters off Manila, Philippines.

The exercise, which was carried out on 24 August 2023, saw the participation of US Navy’s (USN) USS Mobile littoral combat ship, the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) HMAS Canberra landing helicopter dock and frigate HMAS ANZAC, the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) F-35A Lightning combat aircraft and the Philippine Navy’s (PN) BRP DAVAO DEL SUR landing platform dock.

It also involved Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s (JMSDF) JS Izumo helicopter carrier and JS Samidare ship.

The exercise provided an opportunity to the participating units to strengthen their defence cooperation and interoperability.

In addition, it helped the units to improve their tactical capabilities.

Indo-Pacific Deployment 2023 (IPD23) First Surface Unit Commander, Escort Flotilla 1 Commander, rear admiral Nishiyama Takahiro said: “The ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) shares fundamental principles with the Free and Open Indo-pacific (FOIP), and Japan agrees with it.

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“The JMSDF will strengthen the Japan-U.S. Alliance to deter and counter threats, further improvement of interoperability with the Royal Australian Navy, and improve bilateral defense cooperation with the Philippine Navy for regional peace and stability and the maintenance of maritime order.”

In a separate announcement, Japan and the US have conducted a bilateral exercise from 22 to 25 August 2023 in the sea and airspace from east of Okinawa to south of Kanto.

The exercise involved JMSDF’s JS Maya guided missile destroyer conducted and US Navy’s USS Ronald Reagan nuclear-powered supercarrier.

JS Maya commanding officer captain MORI Michiaki said: “Through the exercise, we improved our tactical capabilities and interoperability with the US Navy.

“The JMSDF and the US Navy work closely together in various sea areas to keep and enhance joint response capabilities to respond to any contingency.”