Ships from Commander, Task Force (CTF) 70 and Commander, Task Force (CTF) 71 completed the Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical Training (SWATT) exercise for 2023 in the Philippine Sea, Jan. 26.

SWATT is the premier U.S. Naval Surface Force advanced tactical training exercise. It is designed and developed to increase combat capability and interoperability between surface units by providing multi-ship, multi-platform, multi-warfare area training at sea. Forward Deployed Naval Forces-Japan (FDNF-J) SWATT 2023 was the first multi-international iteration of the exercise with participation from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF).

“We are going to fight as a multi-national force, so it’s only right that we train as a multi-national force”, said Capt. Justin Harts, Deputy Commodore of CTF 71. “Exercises like FDNF-J SWATT 2023 are ways the United States builds deeper relationships and understanding with Allies and partners while simultaneously demonstrating a shared commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region.”

The JMSDF ship that participated was destroyer JS Ashigara (DDG 178). Ashigara conducted several complex training events, including anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare and air defense exercises alongside U.S. Navy vessels.