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GSDF, U.S. to Conduct Isle Defense Joint Exercise

Date Posted: 2012-01-05

Japan's Ground Self-Defense Force will conduct a joint exercise with the U.S. Marine Corps to improve its defense capabilities on remote islands.

The joint exercise will be staged over a one-month period on the U.S. Navy-managed San Clemente Island, one of the California Channel Islands, and other places in the United States. The exercise kicks off January 16th. It will be the first such drill for the GSDF. Under defense policy guidelines it adopted in 2010, Japan attaches importance to the defense of the southwestern Japan island region.

About 180 GSDF troops, mainly from the Western Army Infantry Regiment, based in the southwestern Japanese city of Sasebo, in Nagasaki Prefecture, will take part in the exercise. The U.S. participants will be from the First Marine Expeditionary Force.
The scenario of the drill will be that foreign spies have sneaked onto the island.

GSDF members will practice approaching the island by boat and removing those taking the role of the spies. The Japanese members will also practice rescue helicopter activities for local citizens. Other planned activities include command post exercises in which Japanese and U.S. participants will jointly plan and implement exercise programs. In November, the GSDF and Air and Maritime SDFs conducted their first large-scale exercise based on the defense of remote Japanese islands under armed attack.

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