Ships from Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) conducted joint training exercises with ships from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) in the Mediterranean Sea on June 6, NATO announced on Thursday.
The Italian Navy ITS Margottini (flagship of SNMG2) and the Turkish Navy TCG Salihreis met the two Japanese ships, JS Kashima and JS Shimakaze, during their transit in the Mediterranean Sea during the 66th edition of the overseas training cruise sea. Kashima and Shimakaze left Japan on April 24.
The newly appointed Japanese officers had the opportunity to interact with NATO units and conduct training activities, including a maneuver exercise. An exchange of personnel allowed NATO crew members to board the Japanese ships and vice versa. The exchanges gave all participants insight into how NATO and Japan operate at sea and fostered understanding and interoperability between units.
JMSDF Training Squadron Commander Rear Admiral Shukaku Komuta welcomed Italian Navy SNMG2 Commander Rear Admiral Mauro Panebianco aboard Kashima, noting Japan’s pleasure in bolstering its partnership with NATO. Panebianco met the young officers to wish them the best for their careers.
“Today’s interaction is a great opportunity to strengthen our cooperation and partnership,” Panebianco said. “We share many of your Navy’s core values – which is why our cooperation is mutually beneficial. Japan is one of many countries beyond the Euro-Atlantic area with which NATO is developing relationships.
Following the interaction, the two Japanese ships have resumed their world cruise which is due to end in August. Margottini and Salihreis have resumed their activities in the Mediterranean Sea ensuring a strong international presence and maintaining a high level of readiness to maintain peace and preserve security on the high seas.