By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Brian Sloan, USS George Washington Public Affairs
WATERS SOUTH OF JAPAN (NNS) -- Adm. Tomohisa Takei, chief of staff, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), visited the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73), May 22.
Takei received an orientation on flight operations aboard George Washington while strengthening the joint interoperability between the U.S. Navy and JMSDF.
"My impression of this aircraft carrier is that it's like a Swiss watch with very complex mechanisms and it has people who are very smart and precise that operate it," said Takei.
Adm. Takei's visit also allowed him to see the more than 5,000 Sailors of the George Washington Carrier Strike Group, which includes the George Washington crew and it's embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, operate together.
"Today's visit was a great opportunity for Adm. Takei to see what we do together as a unified team," said Rear Adm. John Alexander, commander, Battle Force U.S. 7th Fleet. "[Adm. Takei] is effectively the Japanese Chief of Naval Operations, so to have him aboard today was a great honor."
According to Takei, the relationship between the U.S. 7th Fleet and JMSDF is stronger and tighter than ever. The relationship between JMSDF and the U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet spans more than 60 years as U.S. and Japan continue to work together in the Western Pacific.
"It was an honor to have Adm. Takei aboard our ship," said Capt. Timothy Kuehhas, George Washington's commanding officer. "His visit displays the trust we have instilled between our two nations and the partnership we've established and continue to build to protect this region of the world."
Additionally, Takei emphasized the importance of forward-deployed Naval forces in the Indo-Asian Pacific region.
"The U.S. Navy's presence gives us a chance to industrialize, modernize, and is indispensible for future economic growth in [the Western Pacific] region," said Takei.
George Washington and CVW-5 are on patrol in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. George Washington will conduct a hull-swap with the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) later this year after serving seven years as the U.S. Navy's only forward-deployed aircraft carrier in Yokosuka, Japan.