By Lt. j.g. G. P. Hahn, USS Hawaii Public Affairs
FLEET ACTIVITIES YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- The Virginia-class fast-attack submarine USS Hawaii (SSN 776) participated in the 2015 Anti-Submarine Warfare Exercise (ASWEX) with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) as part of their Western Pacific deployment Feb. 8-16.
ASWEX is an annual event hosted by the JMSDF that included four JMSDF submarines, one U.S. submarine, three surface vessels and multiple aircraft in 2015.
"Hawaii is grateful for the opportunity to have participated in [ASWEX] 2015," said Cmdr. William Patterson, commanding officer of Hawaii. "It was an extremely rewarding experience for the crew. This is exactly what our mission here in the Pacific is; Strengthening partnerships without our allies, while focusing on making ourselves the best submariner possible."
The long-standing partnership is strengthened with the participation of a U.S. submarine; each crew gaining experience of the tactics and tenacity of their Japanese counterparts.
"[ASWEX] was an amazing experience," said Lt. j.g. Joshua Sale. "Being able to work with and learn from the Japanese showed me just how very capable they are as submariners. It took a lot of imagination to try and think like the captain of a JMSDF submarine planning its next move. I definitely won't forget this experience."
Hawaii is the 3rd ship of the Virginia-class fast-attack submarines. It is the first ship in the fleet to bear the state of Hawaii's namesake and is homeported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.