The exercise was conducted in the Philippine Sea. Arleigh Burke-class destroyers of the U.S. Navy accompanied the aircraft-carrying warships. This marks the first time since November 2023 that JMSDF conducted an exercise with two U.S. aircraft carriers.
The two countries have a large-scale cooperation in the naval field. This extends to joint exercises, U.S. military presence, and joint defence programs such as Japanese AEGIS CMS-equipped destroyers and SM-3 Block IIA anti-ballistic missiles.
The U.S. conducted another drill with the Philippine Navy in January 2024. Two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, a Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS Princeton from the USN, two OPVs and BRP Davao del Sur LPD from the Philippine Navy participated in the drills.
China is exerting increasing pressure on the Philippines about the disputed Spratly Islands. China is also participating in risky tactics and harassing Philippine authorities related to the issue.
Throughout the last months of 2023, China has harassed Philippine ships and boats with large-sized coast guard ships using water cannons and other equipment meant to cause disturbance. This resulted in the Philippines taking part in naval joint drills with the U.S. and Australia more often.