Australian vessels have joined about 40 ships and submarines that sailed in formation near Tokyo on November 6 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF).
CAPTION: HMAS Hobart prepares to sail past the reviewing ship, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter carrier JS Izumo, during the International Fleet Review 2022 off the coast of Yokosuka, Japan. Story by Lieutenant Brendan Trembath. Photo by Leading Seaman Daniel Goodman.
HMA Ships Hobart, Stalwart and Arunta, and HMA Submarine Farncomb, led the foreign warship divisions for the International Fleet Review 2022, staged in Sagami Bay, in the shadow of a snow-capped Mount Fuji.
Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Mark Hammond joined the reviewing officer, Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, on board the JMSDF helicopter carrier JS Izumo.
Vice Admiral Hammond said it was good to return to Japan for a significant and historic event.
“The JMSDF is one of the most capable navies in the Indo-Pacific. We work closely together to advance peace and prosperity around the region,” Vice Admiral Hammond said.
“I am proud to join 700 Royal Australian Navy sailors and officers to commemorate the JMSDF’s rich history and the Japan-Australian strategic relationship.”
The international fleet in Sagami Bay ranged from the US Navy aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan to the Royal New Zealand Navy sustainment ship HMNZS Aotearoa and the Royal Thai Navy frigate HTMS Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Leading Seaman Corey Mumberson stood on Hobart’s flight deck for the main review and said it was an impressive collection.
“It was awesome. There were plenty of ships here and a couple of subs too,” Leading Seaman Mumberson said.
Leading Seaman Amanda Smider watched from the sharp end of the destroyer.
“It was great to see all the ships with us,” Leading Seaman Smider said.
“Japan is amazing and I will definitely go back for a visit.”
The main review was the signature event of the International Fleet Review program, which also included maritime exercises, cultural and sporting activities and a parade through the streets of Yokosuka, where the JMSDF has its headquarters.