U.S. Navy and the Royal Canadian Navy joined forces to conduct bilateral operations in the South China Sea, June 18-20.

“Close coordination with our allies and partners is paramount to success in the region,” said Capt. Justin Harts, Commander, Destroyer Squadron 15. “Demonstrating regional cooperation with the Royal Canadian Navy is key to ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

The bilateral operations included the U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114) and the Royal Canadian Navy Halifax-class frigate HMCS Montreal (FFH 336).

“This exercise provided an opportunity to work closely with our network of allies and partners, allowing us to continue to build on the already strong relationship with the Royal Canadian Navy,” said Cmdr. Isaia Infante, commanding officer of Ralph Johnson. “Ralph Johnson and her crew are committed to maintaining peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region while supporting the rules-based international order.”

During the operations, the ships conducted personnel transfers, flight operations, and a replenishment at sea with the Lewis-and-Clark class dry cargo ship USNS Wally Schirra (T-AKE 8).

The U.S. Navy regularly operates alongside our Allies in the Indo-Pacific region as a demonstration of our shared commitment to the rules-based international order. Bilateral operations such as this one provide valuable opportunities to train, exercise and develop tactical interoperability across Allied navies in the Indo-Pacific.

Ralph Johnson is forward-deployed and assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the Navy’s largest DESRON and the U.S. 7th Fleet’s principal surface force.

U.S. 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with allies and partners in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

By Editor