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US Commander Task Force 72 Participates in Sea Dragon Exercise


The U.S. Navy and its maritime partners kicked off operations for the multilateral exercise Sea Dragon 2020, Jan 20. Service members from the U.S Navy, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF), the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) and the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) are all participating in SEA DRAGON 2020.


Commander Task Force 72 Participates in Sea Dragon Exercise 925 001CTF-72 Participates in Sea Dragon Exercise (Picture source: U.S. Navy)


Maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft (MPRA) from Commander Task Force (CTF) 72 will train with units from the U.S., Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF), the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) and the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN).

SEA DRAGON is a multi-lateral Anti-Submarine Warfare exercise that improves the interoperability elements required to effectively and cohesively respond to the defense of a regional contingency in the Indo-Asia-Pacific while continuing to build and strengthen relationships held between nations.

Representing CTF-72, a P-8A Poseidon aircraft from VP-45’s “World Famous Pelicans” will add to the fast-growing number of assets involved. In only its second year, Sea Dragon has grown quickly, adding Korea and New Zealand to the list of participants. The exercise presents a chance for the U.S. and its allies to hone anti-submarine warfare (ASW) skills in the Indo-Pacific area of responsibility.

“Task Force 72 is excited to welcome maritime patrol aircraft and crews from the US Navy, Royal Australian Air Force, Japan Maritime Self Defense Force, Republic of Korea Navy, and Royal New Zealand Air Force to the exercise this year. Sea Dragon is specifically constructed to allow participating nations to pursue individual and shared maritime patrol ASW objectives, all against a backdrop of friendly competition and camaraderie," said Rutherford.

Patrol Squadron 45, based in Jacksonville, Florida, is operating out of Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa, Japan. The squadron is conducting maritime patrol and reconnaissance as well as theatre outreach operations within U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.