Working with the Japanese force has been a privilege and highly productive.

Lieutenant Commander Simon Pressdee

After a successful exercise, HMS Atherstone challenged the JS Bungo to a friendly football match, which the Japanese Ship readily accepted.

Despite the best efforts of the Japanese, Atherstone's Crew were victorious and after the main event, the two nations split into mixed teams for a further friendly match.

HMS Atherstone’s football team player-manager, AB(CIS) Ben Turner, 22 from Wigan said:

"The football match against the Japanese Ships was a great event. It brought the two nations together on a more personal level after successful mine hunting operations at sea. Both teams thoroughly enjoyed the game, exchanging crew t-shirts and other mementos afterwards."

HMS Atherstone's Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Simon Pressdee said:

“Working with the Japanese force has been a privilege and highly productive. Both sides have much to take away from the exercise, particularly as a result of the liaison officers embarking within the Staff for the duration. It’s great to know that we can work effectively together at sea and still enjoy some spirited competition ashore.”

HMNB Portsmouth

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Engineering Technician (Weapon Engineering)

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