Over the next five weeks, a small force of Japanese soldiers is getting down and dirty with U.S. Marines, learning from them what it means to fight from the sea.
Japan’s eye is on the calendar. In two years, it expects to stand up the Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade, its first amphibious unit, and it needs a credible force to bolster its national defense capabilities.
About 300 soldiers from Japan’s Western Area Infantry Regiment arrived at Camp Pendleton last week for the annual training exercise— Iron Fist 2016. They are training alongside 500 Marines, mostly members of the Camp Pendleton-based 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, in scenarios that will take them from the large amphibious training base to desert training at the Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, Calif., and offshore San Clemente Island.
In recent years, and through annual Iron Fist exercise, Japan’s military has been developing its own tactics, techniques and procedures in amphibious operations, guided by U.S. Marines and their naval counterparts. This year, unlike last year’s exercise, Japanese soldiers will get to sea: They will embark USS Somerset (LPD-25) to get familiar with sea operations and learn to plan and practice amphibious raids and assaults that will take place at San Clemente Island and Camp Pendleton.
The Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force soldiers just might be part of a new unit of 3,000 troops that by 2018 will provide Japan with an expeditionary force it can send to respond to national emergencies or hold or retake a far-flung island—without necessarily trailing U.S. forces. Japan wants a force that can rapidly deploy to emergency situations—like what it encountered after the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami—and also secure Japan’s interests with the defense of its far-reaching islands under threat of China’s growing naval reach and influence in the region. It also could go to the defense of a partner nation under a recent reinterpretation of the Japanese constitution.
“By 2018, we are going to establish an amphibious brigade, and we are planning to make sure they improve on their skill sets,” said Col. Yoshiyuki Goto, the regimental commander, speaking through a translator. “The things we are focusing on [include] the ship-to-shore landing, but after the landing, being able to conduct [missions] and maneuver properly. That is what we want to improve by going to Twentynine Palms.”
Read more: news.usni.org
- Watch: Al Sharpton’s Epic Fails When Reading Teleprompter Will Have You Rolling With Laughter, ‘The Thigh (Thai) Militarty’
- Defense Secretary James Mattis is Ready to Shoot Down North Korea’s Ballistic Missiles
- Crocodile ‘Whisperer’ Claimed the Creatures Wouldn’t Harm Him, Then He Went for a Swim
- Trump UN Speech: ‘Rocket Man’ Kim Jong Un is on ‘suicide mission’ [WATCH]
- ISIS on the Verge of Losing its ‘Capital’
- Bill O’Reilly Breaks His Silence: His Firing was a ‘Political and Financial Hit Job’ [Video]
- CNN Made to Report Trump’s ‘Wiretap’ Accusations May Have Been True
- MSNBC Host Claims Antifa is ‘on the Side of Angels’
- College Pays Professors Huge Settlement After ‘Ban of White People’ on Campus Threatened Their Lives [Video]
- Columbus Day Now has a New Racially Acceptable Name in Los Angeles, Explorer to be Erased from History…
- Chelsea Handler: ‘Black White Supremacy’ is a Real Thing
- Hillary Clinton is ‘Done With Being a Candidate’
- Buffalo Bill’s Personal Armory
- WATCH: ‘Innocent’ Lion Starts Eating Cape Buffalo that’s Still Alive… Then his Buddies Interfere
- Second Suspect in London Tube Bombing is a Syrian Migrant [VIDEO]
- Kaepernick Was About to Get Signed, Then His Girlfriend Tweeted Racist Message About Ray Lewis
- ALERT: Bomb Threat Reported for Central London Tube Trains
- WATCH: US Open Champion Sloane Stephens When Asked if She has New ‘Hunger’ to Win More Games Gives Hilarious Answer — Endorses Capitalism