The U.S. Navy and its maritime partners kicked off operations for the multilateral exercise Sea Dragon 2020, Jan 20.
Maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft from Commander Task Force (CTF) 72 will train with units from the U.S., Royal Australian Air Force, the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force, the Republic of Korea Navy and the Royal New Zealand Air Force.
The goal is to improve and evaluate the interoperability elements required to effectively and cohesively respond to the defense of a regional contingency in the Indo-Pacific, while continuing to build and strengthen relationships held between the nations.
Representing CTF-72, a P-8A Poseidon aircraft from Patrol Squadron (V) 45’s “World Famous Pelicans” will add to the fast-growing number of assets involved. In only its second year, Sea Dragon has grown quickly, adding Korea and New Zealand to the list of participants. The exercise presents a chance for the U.S. and its allies to hone anti-submarine warfare (ASW) skills in the Indo-Pacific area of responsibility.
“Sea Dragon 2020 is an outstanding opportunity to enhance maritime patrol relationships in the Western Pacific and build core anti-submarine warfare proficiency while increasing warfighting lethality and improving interoperability,” said Capt. Matthew F. Rutherford, commodore of CTF-72. “Sea Dragon is specifically constructed to allow participating nations to pursue individual and shared maritime patrol ASW objectives, all against a backdrop of friendly competition and camaraderie.””
Patrol Squadron 45, based in Jacksonville, Florida, is operating out of Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa, Japan. The squadron is conducting maritime patrol and reconnaissance as well as theater outreach operations within U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.
MCSN Thomas Higgins, VP-45