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DESRON 15 Hosts Annual Allied Surface Warfare Summit

by Courtesy Story Commander, Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron 15
19 April 2024


Commander, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15 hosted their Annual Surface Warfare Summit in Yokosuka, Japan from April 15th to 19th in Yokosuka, Japan.

The Surface Warfare Summit is a five-day event where junior and senior surface warriors from the United States and a growing number of likeminded Allies and partners, participate in a series of professional development sessions designed to highlight advanced capabilities and procedures to ensure our surface forces maintain the highest levels of combat readiness and lethality. The theme of this year’s summit was improving interchangeability across our navies.

"This summit is unique as it’s the only one of its kind that brings together US Navy and Coast Guard shipboard leadership along with the shipboard leadership of our closest allies to talk tactical development across the spectrum of surface warfare from cooperation to conflict. There’s a saying: “Train like you Fight, Fight like you Train”… well this is it. We will fight as a coalition of navies, so we are here to work out how to train like a coalition of navies," said Capt. Justin Harts, Commander, Destroyer Squadron 15. "This summit focuses our attention on ways to increase our shared commitment to the concept that we aren’t going to wait for crisis to form a coalition, that surface coalition is already formed to prevent crisis."

In attendance were members from the Royal Australian Navy, Royal Canadian Navy, Japan Maritime Self Defense Force, Royal New Zealand Navy, and for the first time, observers from the French Navy, Italian Navy, and Royal Navy. These nations regularly operate alongside the US Navy and US Coast Guard ships assigned to DESRON 15 in the Seventh Fleet operations area in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

“Synchronizing with our allies helps point us toward a common goal,” said Maj. Brent Collier, Royal New Zealand Air Force. “We are united in our vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific, and this summit only served to reinforce this idea.”

Each of the navies in attendance presented briefs on their upcoming contributions to operations in the Pacific with an eye towards better integration and interoperability. In addition, DESRON 15 hosted speakers from PERS-41, Naval Post Graduate School (NPS), Naval War College (NWC), Surface Mine Warfare Development Center (SMWDC), and the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI). These speakers discussed high-end warfighting and gave attendees the opportunity to learn about the direction the Surface community is heading.

A highlight during this year’s symposium was an in person discussion with the new Commander of the US Pacific Fleet, Admiral Stephen Koehler who encouraged the attendees to continue to work towards interchangeability as the greatest means of deterring aggression in the Western Pacific.

Vice Adm. Fred Kacher commander, U.S. Seventh Fleet presented closing remarks for the summit.

“Our success is anchored in productive collaboration with our allies and partners and enhanced through conferences such as Surface Warfare Summit,” said Kacher. “We must take every opportunity to strengthen our resolve and deepen our shared understanding of the Indo-Pacific."

The summit concludes with an international “Dining Out” where work gives way to camaraderie and friendship.

DESRON 15 is the Navy's largest forward-deployed destroyer squadron and the U.S. 7th Fleet's principal surface force. It is forward deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific.

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.


Commander, Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet, 2841 Rendova Rd. San Diego, CA 92155-5490
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Commander, Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet, 2841 Rendova Rd. San Diego, CA 92155-5490

This is an official
U.S. Navy website

U.S. Pacific Fleet
2841 Rendova Rd
San Diego, CA

Public Affairs Officer

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