US forces and the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) have participated in a fleet synthetic training-joint (FST-J) exercise 16-71 at Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka (CFAY) and other command centres throughout Japan.

US Commander Task Force 70 along with Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15 took part in the exercise, in collaboration with army and airforce assets and units from JMSDF.

The FST-J exercise 16-71 is a computer-based synthetic training which aims to integrate geographically separate units on a single tactically and operationally demanding virtual environment.

USS Shiloh (CG 67) commanding officer and ballistic missile defence commander (BMD) for Commander, Task Force (CTF) 70 captain Adam Aycock said: "FST-J is designed to test our tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) against possible threats and ensure Japanese and US forces are well versed and experienced in executing those TTPs.

"FST-J is designed to test our tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) against possible threat."

The US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54), commissioned as a forward deploy to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region and anchored in Sasebo, Japan, joined forces with JMSDF Kong-class destroyer, Myoko (DDG 175) to coordinate synthetic BMD training.

Both navy ships, which are equipped with BMD training capabilities, and the Japanese vessel incorporated with two TPY-2 radars lead the way for improved planning, precision ship stationing and quick defensive reactions for the US and its allies.

Commander Task Group 70.15 responsible for Commander 7th Fleet (C7F) surface operations captain Christopher Sweeney said: "It is crucial to ensure our ships practise complex situations to be fully prepared to execute a variety of mission sets, FST-J allows us to accomplish this diverse training."

The teams onboard the vessels engaged in operational integrated air and missile defence (IAMD), surface warfare, and anti-submarine warfare information for advanced tactical training which aims at honing their skills in combating and joint operations for ballistic missile defence.

The exercise was to boost the bilateral alliances fostering operational efficiency and cooperation between the US and allies.

Image: An aircraft engaged during FST-J exercise. Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo by mass communication specialist 2nd class Richard LJ Gourley.