by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class David R. Krigbaum
SASEBO, Japan (Jan. 28, 2016) - The U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the completion of a fiber-optic line extension onboard Commander Fleet Activities Sasebo, Jan. 27, 2016.
The new line extension will allow for joint Fleet Synthetic Training to take place between U.S. Navy and JMSDF vessels without having to move Japanese ships to an American pier.
Fleet Synthetic Training allows electronically-linked ships to conduct realistic training scenarios as if working together at sea. Ships linked into the network can participate in these exercises world-wide. This allows for more training without the logistics and cost of putting ships to sea.
“As a former strike group operations officer, I have seen first-hand the value of the Fleet Synthetic Training that occurs using the Navy Continuous Training Environment and connections like the one we celebrate today,” said Capt. Matthew Ovios, Commander Fleet Activities Sasebo commanding officer. “ There is no doubt in my mind that during these future synthetic training events, this connection will enable our two forces to be much better prepared to operate at sea together, and to ultimately defend Japan and maintain peace and stability in this region.”
The 12-strand single-mode fiber optic backbone was installed using the combined resources of U.S. Navy Computer and Telecommunications Station Far East Detachment Sasebo and JMSDF Sasebo District headquarters, the commands’ first ever bilateral venture. It takes the existing network used by U.S. navy ships forward deployed to CFAS and extends it 1,000 feet to the piers used by JMSDF vessels. With the longer extension, more training with more participants can be conducted, resulting in more realistic exercises. The effort will also save the JMSDF the cost of moving a ship to a connected pier to participate in exercises.
“The completed communication extension at Tategami Pier is the first case of a joint use facility where we will be able to conduct joint training like BMD [Ballistic Missile Defense], other warfare exercises and Fleet Synthetic Training jointly,” said JMSDF Capt. Tokuetsu Ishibashi, JMSDF Sasebo District Operations and Plans Department director. “I expect this facility will serve as a cornerstone between the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and the U.S. Navy.”
CFAS enables 13 forward-deployed Naval forces and 26 tenant commands across 11 geographic locations, supporting a community of 7,000 Sailors, civilians, and family members. It has received awards for Safety, Environmental, Zumwalt Lodging, Golden Anchor, Food Service, and the 2015 Region Japan Installation of the Year.