Monday, August 11, 2014

Joint ASW Exercise Near Guam


 The U.S. Navy announced on On August 8, 2014 that it would host a joint anti submarine warfare (ASW) exercise near Guam  August 9-15, 2014. Participants included anti submarine warfare equipped vessels of the United States, Japan, and Australia. Titled "GUAMEX 2014 the goal of the exercise is for the allied navies to build experience operating together on ASW missions far from any of their home bases and in an expeditionary manner.The exercise involves both vessels and aircraft from the U.S., Australia, and Japan, and observers of the Royal New Zealand Air Force. Vessels include submarines from all three physically participating nations. Many nations like New Zealand don't maintain "organic air" for individual services, so in an ASW campaign New Zealand's Air Force would be pressed into service for ASW air cover. According to a U.S. Navy press release the planes and vessels will work 25 operating scenarios , there will be aircraft familiarization tours, and social gatherings. 

 Apparently the submarine drills are but part of a larger exercise that started last month when the U.S. guided missile destroyer USS PINCKNEY performed gunnery, ASW, and communications drills together and worked a temporary personnel exchange. The U.S. Navy acknowledges that the exercise is a first with precisely these participants in this particular region. While no nation is particularly targeted, China is improving their skills in aggressive submarine tactics and shows utter disregard for the maritime soverignity of its neighbors including Japan.  Additionally last winter China made it a point to conduct large naval exercises on the edge of Japan's exclusive economic zone. We think GUAMEX 2014 sends a message to the Dragon, even if the envelope is not addressed and no postage affixed. If we hadn't noticed that we'd be asleep at the switch. 

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