The Honolulu-homeported U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Kimball has left Kagoshima, Japan after participating in a days-long joint training session with the Japan Coast Guard, U.S. officials said Feb. 16.
Members from both agencies engaged in several search-and-rescue exercises and other activities in Kagoshima Bay, including “collaborative mission planning, boat handling and helicopter operations and demonstrated techniques for locating, recovering and hoisting a simulated distressed swimmer.”
The U.S. Coast Guard command also visited the Japan Coast Guard’s 10th Regional Headquarters and gave tours of the cutter to several Japan Coast Guard members and the community.
The events are meant to nurture the memorandum of cooperation between the two agencies, signed last May, that included a sharing of information, training and teaming on operations. The pair created the operation SAPPHIRE, which stands for Solid Alliance for Peace and Prosperity with Humanity and Integrity on the Rule of law-based Engagement.
“The U.S. Coast Guard endeavors to continue strengthening our relationships with the Japan Coast Guard through engagements like ours in Kagoshima that build on the foundation laid out in SAPPHIRE,” Capt. Thomas D’Arcy, Kimball’s commanding officer, said. “Collaborative engagement with the Japan Coast Guard, who also value strong maritime governance, enables greater connection and a more open and secure Indo-Pacific.”