“Maritime forces from Japan, UK, US practice submarine hunting in Philippine Sea” (1)
Very nice. I can envision it. Ships crisscrossing the ocean, searching for submarines. Aircraft dropping sensors. An ASW commander coordinating and directing the overall effort, vectoring multiple ships and aircraft to suspected submarine locations. The submarines working to evade and attack. This is what an ASW exercise should be!
Unfortunately, it appears that this is not what the exercise was. From the Pacific Fleet website article, the participating forces consisted of
- 1x Japanese helo destroyer
- 1x Royal Navy Type 23 frigate
- 1x US submarine
- 1x P-8 Poseidon
That’s not an exercise, that’s a photo op.
The US Pacific Fleet has a hundred or so ships and several hundred aircraft. Of those, we assigned one sub and one aircraft to the exercise. Were the rest too busy to participate?
If someone went to the trouble of organizing this, why not make a significant event? Even better, why not make it an unannounced, no-notice, come-as-you-are, scramble exercise for multiple squadrons of ships and aircraft and let’s see what our first day of war capabilities look like?
Here’s some phrases from the article:
- “for the first time”
- “trilateral exercise”
- “unprecedented opportunity”
- “support of a free and open Indo-Pacific"
- “Working together”
- “cooperate more effectively at sea.”
- “exciting opportunity”
- “improve upon our combined capabilities"
- “first trilateral exercise of its kind”
- “shared commitment to enhance maritime cooperation”
Sounds like a ground-breaking, mammoth, multi-national exercise, doesn’t it? … Since when did creative writing become a Navy mission?
What’s that old saying? - Don’t talk about, be about it.
Well, it appears that the Navy is substituting talking for doing. What was the rest of the Pacific Fleet doing that was more important than ASW combat training? Seriously, one sub and one aircraft? Pathetic. Even worse was bragging about it. Very disappointing.
(1)Commander, US Pacific Fleet, Ensign Jacob Dirr, 21-Dec-2018,https://www.cpf.navy.mil/news.aspx/130406