Two Japanese naval destroyers are anchored in Kachemak Bay near Homer. The ships are passing through on their way to Anchorage for a “good-will” port call.
The Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force has been traveling the world since May, making port calls in South America, Canada, along the East Coast and even Pearl Harbor. About 500 sailors are on board both ships, but the six-month tour is primarily part of an effort to train 200 new cadets.
No events are planned in Homer, but sailors plan to visit the VA hospital at Anchorage’s Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardsonand observe some military operations there. The new cadets also plan to volunteer at a local food bank and host students from the Anchorage School District’s Japanese immersion program.
Both ships will pull anchor in Homer late Tuesday night before arriving in Anchorage Wednesday for a three-day visit.