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SDF members participate in joint exercise with U.S. military in California

  • 2015-09-03 15:00:00
  • , Asahi
  • Translation

(Asahi: September 3, 2015 – p. 37)


 The Self-Defense Forces (SDF) participated in a joint exercise on Sept. 1 (Sept. 2, Japan time) with the U.S. military off the coast of Southern California based on the scenario of recapturing an island occupied by an enemy. Live ammunition was used in the firing drill, which was disclosed to the public.


 The amphibious exercise was part of the “Dawn Blitz” training exercise in which military forces are sent from the ocean to the shore. Based on information collected by members of the Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) and the U.S. Marine Corps that had infiltrated the island occupied by an enemy, a Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) Aegis cruiser and U.S. Navy warship offshore bombarded the island from the sea. There was even a scene in which a GSDF member radio communicated in English with the U.S. Navy warship to guide the attack.


 About 1,100 SDF members, including the GDSF Western Army Infantry Regiment that specializes in the defense of outlying islands as well as MSDF and Air Self-Defense Force (ASDF) members, are participating in the ongoing exercise. The SDF participated in the exercise for the first time in 2013 when tension was growing over the Senkaku Islands issue. This is the second time for the SDF to take part. Through the exercise, Japan and the U.S. demonstrated their cooperation in defending isolated islands.


 Besides Japan and the U.S., military units from Mexico and New Zealand are also participating in the exercise, and Australia, Columbia, and Chile have sent their service members to take part. The U.S. military organizes the exercise with the aim of enhancing capabilities for multinational amphibious operation in preparation for a possible contingency requiring the formation of multinational troops. The exercise will continue until Sept. 9.

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