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The amphibious dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry, at right, and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ship JDS Ohsumi arrive at Yokosuka Naval Base Sunday.

The amphibious dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry, at right, and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ship JDS Ohsumi arrive at Yokosuka Naval Base Sunday. (Edward Sisk / U.S. Navy)

SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — The dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ship JDS Ohsumi are participating in a bilateral amphibious transport exercise near Yokosuka Naval Base through Wednesday.

“The actual exercise takes place Wednesday at Numazu Beaching Range,” a short distance south of Yokosuka, said Lt. Edward Sisk, Command Task Force 76 spokesman.

“That’s where they’ll do the ship-to-shore amphibious transport bilateral training” involving the Landing Craft Air Cushioned, or hovercrafts, Sisk said Monday afternoon.

The amphibious transport exercise is designed to “familiarize each of us on wet-well operations and landing procedures through cross-training and landing craft recoveries in each other’s ships,” said Cmdr. Michael T. Talaga, Fort McHenry’s commander.

The exercise has the “potential to pay huge dividends in the event that we are required to respond unilaterally to any contingency,” Talaga added.

Capt. Yoshinari Ishikado, the Ohsumi commander, echoed Talaga and added that such training provides “experience working together as a team in responding to natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunami and typhoons. This training will save many lives.”


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