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110327-N-5538K-054 PACIFIC OCEAN (March 27, 2011) Capt. Bradley Lee, commander of Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 11, discusses operational capabilities with Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Rear Adm. Hiroyuki Kasui, commander of Escort Flotilla 1, aboard the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2). Essex and embarked elements of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (31st MEU) are operating off the coast of Kesennuma in northeastern Japan supporting Operation Tomodachi. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Casey H. Kyhl/Released)