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IN and JMSDF conduct joint-training in the Bay of Bengal in the India Ocean. JS Kaga and JS Inazuma visited the naval base at Visakhapatnam from October 7th to October 10th. Then the two Japanese ships conducted at sea joint-training with INS Sahyadri, INS Kadmatt, INS Kirch, INS Shakti, an Indian submarine, and a P-8I from October 11th to October 15th.

IndiaJapan1.jpg

http://www.mod.go.jp/msdf/release/201810/20181015.pdf

 

KagaShakti.jpg

https://www.facebook.com/JMSDF.PAO.fp/photos/pcb.2023472331047808/2023471607714547/?type=3&theater

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Keen Sword 19 - All three SDF branches and the US Military.

 

Is to take place from October 29th through to November 8th at SDF and US facilities in Japan, etc. and the sea and airspace around Japan including Tsushima, Guam, and the Mariana islands. Main areas for joint-training is sea surface combat, BMD, air defence, and amphibious operations.

 

From the SDF: About 47,000 personnel, about 20 warships, and about 170 aircraft.

 

From the US military: about 9,500 personnel (that's all that is specified but I'd imagine a carrier group, etc.)

 

Canada is also participating in part of the exercise with two warships.

 

Observers include Canada, Australia, France, the UK, and ROK.

http://www.mod.go.jp/js/Press/press2018/press_pdf/p20181012_05.pdf

 

The following fighter joint-training will occur during Keen Sword 19.

 

Eight F-15s from the US 18th Wing (Kadena) will train with fifteen F-15Js and five F-2s of the JASDF 5th Air Wing (Nyutabaru), 9th Air Wing (Naha), and 8th Air Wing (Tsuiki) in the air space off from Shikoku from October 27th to November 9th.

http://www.mod.go.jp/j/press/news/2018/10/19b.html

 

Six F-16s from the 35th Fighter Wing (Misawa Air Base) of the US Fifth Air Force will train with 10 F-2s from the JASDF 8th Air Wing (Tsuiki Air Base) in the air space off from Shikoku from November 5th to November 8th.

http://www.mod.go.jp/j/press/news/2018/10/19c.html

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Some photos etc from Keen Sword 19

 

 

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldiers with the 1st Airborne Brigade prepareto board a U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules assigned to the 36th Airlift Squadron at Japan Air Self-Defense Force Tsuiki Air Base, Japan, Nov. 4, 2018, during Keen Sword 19. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules’ with the 36 AS became the first U.S. aircraft to drop Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldiers on Hiju-dai drop zone, Oita prefecture, Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe)

KS19o1.jpg

https://www.dvidshub.net/image/4880586/keen-sword-19-historic-first-jgsdf-jump-usaf-c-130js-japan

A video of the drop:

 

 

 

 

U.S. Airmen from the 18th Operations Group conduct airborne command and control in an E-3 Sentry Aircraft while participating in joint, bilateral training Exercise Keen Sword 2019, out of Kadena Air Base, Japan, Oct. 29, 2018. The exercise enables U.S. military and Japan Self-Defense Force personnel to strengthen bilateral relationships and demonstrate U.S. resolve to support security in the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force video by SSgt Daniel E. Fernandez)

KS19o2.jpg

https://www.dvidshub.net/video/637689/keen-sword-19-e-3-sentry

 

 

 

 

WATERS SOUTH OF JAPAN (Oct. 27, 2018) A Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine is participating in Exercise Keen Sword with Submarine Group 7 and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Sailors and staff. Keen Sword, which began Oct. 29, is a joint/bilateral training exercise between the U.S. military and their JSDF counterparts. For the submarine force, it is an opportunity to demonstrate how both countries’ submariners would detect, locate, track and engage enemy assets. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Electronics Technician (Radioman) Robert Gulini)

KS19o3.jpg

https://www.dvidshub.net/image/4866050/submarine-group-7-participates-keen-sword-2019

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Groceries and gas! #HMCSCalgary is capable of receiving stores and fuel simultaneously thanks to NRU Asterix, our dynamic Deck Department and outstanding RAS teams! Pictured here is a Replenishment at Sea while operating with American and Japanese forces during Exercise KEEN SWORD.

KS19o5.jpg

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#HMCSCalgary manoeuvres into formation with the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force destroyers JS Takanami (110) and JS Kongō (173) during the opening day of Exercise KEEN SWORD.

CalgaryJMSDF.jpg

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#HMCSCalgary sails alongside @USSRonaldReagan for an evening PHOTOEX during Exercise KEEN SWORD.

CalgaryRR.jpg

https://www.facebook.com/HMCSNCSMCalgary/posts/347861352441298?__tn__=-R

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PHILIPPINE SEA (Oct. 31, 2018) An F/A-18 Super Hornet prepares to launch from the flight deck of the forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) during Keen Sword 2019. Keen Sword 2019 is a joint, bilateral field-training exercise involving U.S. military and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force personnel, designed to increase combat readiness and interoperability of the Japan-U.S. alliance. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brandon Martin/Released)

KS19o4.jpg

https://www.dvidshub.net/image/4866637/181031-n-ws915-0108

Some more F-18 flight deck action

 

 

U.S. Air Force pararescue specialists assigned to the 31st Rescue Squadron from Kadena Air Base, Japan, locate a downed pilot during a combat search and rescue training near Misawa Air Base, Japan, Oct. 31, 2018. The training provided PJs the opportunity to maintain their certifications required to accomplish their mission-set as pararescue jumpers. KS19 is designed to enhance Japan-U.S. combat readiness and interoperability while strengthening bilateral relationships and demonstrating U.S. resolve to support the security interests of allies and partners in the region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Melanie A. Hutto)

KS19o6.jpg

Video of various rescue related training at Misawa.

 

 

A couple of pictures showing amphibious training between the JMSDF and JGSDF among their respective the Keen Sword batch of pictures.

KS19o7b.jpg

 

KS19o7a.jpg

https://ja-jp.facebook.com/JMSDF.PAO.fp/posts/2060748340653540?__tn__=-R

Video of JS Izumo departing for the training above.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3m3csAw188k

 

 

One of several big PHOTOEX pictures.

KS19o9.jpg

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USS John C. Stennis now in the West Pacific and joined up with USS Ronald Reagan. Worth adding that the Stennis carrier was with the carrier USS Carl Vinson for training in Hawaii shortly before arriving to the West Pacific.

PHILIPPINE SEA (Nov. 16, 2018) Ships attached to the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group and John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group transit the Philippine Sea. Ronald Reagan and John C. Stennis are underway and conducting operations in international waters as part of a dual carrier strike force exercise. The U.S. Navy has patrolled the Indo-Pacific region routinely for more than 70 years promoting regional security, stability and prosperity. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Connor D. Loessin/Released)

RRStennis.JPG

https://www.navy.mil/view_imagex.asp?id=274183&t=1

Full article in the spoiler

 

 


PHILIPPINE SEA (NNS) -- The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group (RRNSG) and John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCSSG) are conducting high-end dual carrier operations in the Philippine Sea.

While steaming together, the two carrier strike groups will execute complex air, surface and anti-submarine warfare operations in international waters and airspace.

"Bringing two carrier strike groups together provides unparalleled naval combat power, tremendous operational flexibility and reach across the region," said Vice Adm. Phil Sawyer, commander, U.S. 7th Fleet. "It shows our forces at their best, operating confidently at sea, and demonstrates that the U.S. Navy will fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows."

Units assigned to these strike groups will conduct operations designed to demonstrate the Navy's unique capability to operate multiple carrier strike groups as a coordinated strike force effort.

"The increased presence of two carrier strike groups in the region highlights the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific," Sawyer added. "As it has for decades, the U.S. Navy will continue to provide security in ways that promote regional stability and prosperity."

For several years, U.S. Navy aircraft carriers have conducted dual carrier strike group operations in the Western Pacific, including the waters surrounding the Korean Peninsula, Sea of Japan, South China Sea, East China Sea and Philippine Sea. These operations typically occur when strike groups deployed to 7th Fleet from the West Coast of the United States join the forward-deployed carrier strike group in Japan.

Before arriving in the Philippine Sea, Stennis executed dual strike group operations with Carl Vinson off Hawaii, including strike and anti-submarine warfare operations.

Last year, the aircraft carriers USS Nimitz (CVN 68), USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) conducted a tri-carrier strike force exercise in the Western Pacific. In 2016, Ronald Reagan and the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) conducted combined operations in the Philippine Sea. In September 2014, the aircraft carriers USS George Washington (CVN 73) and USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) strike groups conducted combined operations in the Western Pacific, and in September 2012, they operated in the South China Sea and East China Sea. In 2009, George Washington and Nimitz operated together in the Western Pacific and in Valiant Shield 2007 and 2006 three-carrier strike groups were operating in the Philippine Sea. In 2001, the aircraft carriers USS Constellation (CV 64) and Carl Vinson operated together in the South China Sea.

The dual carrier operations of these two strike groups combines 10 ships, approximately 150 aircraft and 12,600 personnel.

 

 

https://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=107783

 

The two carriers conducted joint training with JS Fuyuzuki from November 8th to November 16th from waters south of Shikoku to the waters around Okinawa. Top photo is a helicopter from USS Ronald Reagan landing on JS Fuyuzuki. Bottom photo is of USS Ronald Reagan taken by Fuyuzuki's helicopter. Both taken on November 11th.

duelcarrierfuyuzuki.jpg

http://www.mod.go.jp/msdf/release/201811/181116-1.pdf

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Australia and Japan aim to conclude a on a bilateral status of forces agreement early next year.

 

 

 

DARWIN, Australia (Jiji Press) — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Australian counterpart, Scott Morrison, agreed Friday to conclude negotiations early next year on a bilateral status of forces agreement to boost security cooperation.

The proposed pact is designed to define the legal status of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces and the Australian Defense Force in each other’s countries.

The two leaders witnessed the exchange of documents on strengthening bilateral maritime security cooperation.

“Morrison and I confirmed our commitment to further deepen this special strategic partnership between Japan and Australia in pursuit of our common vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Abe told a joint press conference with Morrison after their summit meeting in Darwin, northern Australia.

“I look forward to increased cooperation with Japan to support regional maritime safety and security,” Morrison said.

In a joint statement, the two leaders expressed opposition to any coercive unilateral actions that seek to alter the status quo or increase tensions in the East China Sea and the South China Sea, without mentioning China by name.Speech.

http://www.the-japan-news.com/news/article/0005355130

 

Abe and Morrison pay respects at Darwin for Australians lost in the attack during WW2. Abe is first Japanese prime minster to visit Darwin.

 

 

 

Japanese leader Shinzo Abe has visited Darwin, honouring those killed during Japanese bombing of the city in World War II and thanking Territorians for welcoming him with "heartwarming hospitality".

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived in the Top End capital on Friday for the historic two-day visit.

Before discussing closer military ties and strategic partnerships, Mr Abe and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison laid wreaths for those killed during the bombing of Darwin on February 19, 1942.

On that day, 76 years ago, at least 243 people were killed when Japanese forces launched air raids on Darwin.

Speaking through a translator later on Friday afternoon, Mr Abe acknowledged the efforts of those who helped the two nations reconcile.

"It is a great pleasure for me to be visiting Darwin for the first time as the Prime Minister of Japan," he said.

"Darwin was once a place where the former Japanese forces conducted their first air bombing against Australia, leading to much sacrifice.

"Prime Minister Morrison and I laid a wreath at the war memorial. I extended my condolences in honour of all the fallen soldiers and renewed my vow towards peace.

"Thanks to the devoted efforts of many, Japan and Australia have achieved reconciliation and have become special strategic partners driving regional peace and prosperity.

"I thank the people of the Northern Territory for welcoming us with heart warming hospitality".

The Australian PM said the ceremony was "incredibly moving".

"He [Mr Abe] came here with great grace and great humility and as a great friend of Australia," Mr Morrison said.

"We acknowledge our history and we commemorate our sacrifice and loss today.

"But importantly we have further strengthened our great relationship as good friends and great partners."

Meanwhile, Mr Abe's wife Akie Abe joined Darwin High School students as they practised calligraphy on Friday afternoon.

"On your next study tour, contact me … we go to the Prime Minister's house," she told the students.

Before Mr Abe's departure on Sunday, he will inspect a visiting Japanese coast guard vessel and lay a wreath at a memorial for a Japanese submarine.

Military ties strengthened
Mr Abe said he and Mr Morrison had agreed to deepen their defence and security ties, in response to rising tensions in the South China Sea.

"Darwin is the nexus that connects the Indian and Pacific Oceans and is a crucial place for the stability and the prosperity to the whole of the Indo Pacific," he said.

Each leader mentioned North Korea and their joint commitment to seeing it rid of nuclear weapons.

On South-East Asia and Pacific Island nations, Mr Abe said they agreed to promoting their maritime security, creating better infrastructure and strengthening connectivity.

Mr Morrison thanked Mr Abe on his leadership in driving forward the TPP 11, a free trade agreement signed by 11 nations.

"We stand for democracy and we stand firm against protectionism," he said.

"And our continued success depends on being open to trade and investment."

Investment 'helped create entire communities'
Mr Abe's arrival coincided with the Japanese company Inpex's official opening of its $55 billion Ichthys LNG plant in Darwin.

Both leaders referenced the project as they made a joint statement, ahead of the Inpex Gala Dinner on Friday night.

"Japanese investment in Australian resources and energy projects has helped create entire communities," Mr Morrison said.

"And it supported tens of thousands of employees and inspired new technology and generated billions of dollars for our two economies.

"It is an outstanding example of the scale of our cooperation and of our ambition."

Mr Abe said the project was "deeply symbolic" of the interdependency between the two countries.

He said Japan was ready to support more cooperation between the nations in the energy area.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-16/japan-shinzo-abe-darwin-bombing-scott-morrison-prime-minister/10506538

 

The US and Australia to redevelope the naval base at Manus Island, Papua New Guinea.

 

 

 

Vice-President Mike Pence has announced the US will partner with Australia and Papua New Guinea to redevelop the Manus Island naval base amid rising anxiety about China's power in the region.

Last month Australia and Papua New Guinea announced both countries would upgrade the dilapidated Lombrum base in PNG, which has a strategically vital position overlooking key trade routes.

Defence Minister Christopher Pyne said this week Australian vessels would probably be based permanently at Lombrum under the deal.

And during a speech to business leaders ahead of the APEC summit in Port Moresby officially kicking off, Mr Pence announced the US would also join the project.

"We will work with these nations to protect the sovereignty and maritime routes of Pacific Island nations," he said on Saturday.

The scale of the US commitment is not yet clear as Mr Pence did not say how much money the Trump administration would contribute to the project, or whether US vessels would be permanently based at Lombrum.

But the announcement is likely to stir tensions with Beijing. Chinese and US vessels have come close to confrontation in the disputed South China Sea and Beijing has accused the Trump administration of trying to contain its rise in Asia.

The planned base redevelopment has also stirred some opposition on Manus, with some locals accusing the PNG Government of bulldozing the project through.

Tensions clear between US, China
The geopolitical tensions between the US and China were on clear display during the speeches given by Mr Pence and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who addressed the same forum just before the Vice-President.

China has been steadily building its influence in the Pacific, but Mr Pence again accused Beijing of using debt-trap diplomacy to coerce small nations.

He made a direct plea to countries in the region to turn their back on China and stick with the United States.

"Do not accept debt that could compromise your sovereignty. Protect your interests," he said.

"Know that the United States offers a better option. We don't drown our partners in a sea of debt, we don't coerce or compromise your independence, we deal openly and fairly."

But Mr Xi rejected the US position.

"No-one has the power to stop people from seeking a better life. We should strengthen development cooperation," he said.

And he warned against the escalation of trade and military tensions, saying a "hot, cold or trade [war]" could spell catastrophe.

"Mankind has once against reached a crossroad," he said.

"Which direction should we choose? Cooperation or confrontation, openness or closing one's door?"

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-17/us-to-partner-with-australia-and-png-on-manus-island-naval-base/10507658

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Annual mine warfare exercise between the JMSDF and USN. RAN will join for the first time. Starts on November 17th and goes up to November 28th in the Hyuga-nada sea, east of Kyushu. From the JMSDF is a total of 22 mine warfare ships of 4 types and 2 or 3 MCH-101s. From the USN is one mine warfare ship, 2 MH-53Es, and 10 Explosive Ordnance Disposal divers. From RAN is 2 mine warfare ships.

 

 

 

OKINAWA, Japan - The U.S. Navy, Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), and Royal Australian Navy (RAN) are scheduled to begin Mine Warfare Exercise 3JA 2018 off the coast of southern Japan, Nov. 17.

This is part of an annual exercise series with the U.S. Navy and JMSDF, joined for the first time this year by the RAN. The exercise increases proficiency in mine countermeasures operations.

“Our continued work with the JSMDF combined with this year’s addition of our Australian allies gives exercise 3JA a much more vibrant impact and allows for greater richness of training,” said Rear Adm. Brad Cooper, commander, Amphibious Force, U.S. 7th Fleet.

During the exercise, participating units will practice unit-level mine warfare tactics to include sweeping, hunting, and mine detection.

The exercise will culminate in a combined phase in which U.S. and JMSDF will coordinate and communicate to clear a route for ships through a simulated minefield in one of the designated exercise areas.

JMSDF units include Mine Warfare Force (MWF); Commander, Mine Division (CMD) 1; CMD42; CMD43; Uraga class mine sweeper tenders JS Bungo (MST-464) and JS Uraga (MST-463)‎; one mine-sweep ocean (MSO) ship, five mine-sweep coastal (MSC) ships; and three mine countermeasures helicopters (MCH) 101.

RAN units include HMAS Huon (M 82) and HMAS Gascoyne (M 85).

U.S. units participating include the mine countermeasures ship USS Chief (MCM 14); Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 5, Platoon 501; Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron (HM) 14 and the staff from Mine Countermeasures Squadron 7.

https://www.cpf.navy.mil/news.aspx/130397

http://www.mod.go.jp/msdf/release/201811/20181114.pdf

Minesweepers assembled for the exercise.

minesweepers.jpg

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Two B-52s arrived in Darwin for joint-training with the RAAF such as RAAF F/A-18s that goes from November 29th to December 9th.

b52aus.JPG

 

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- U.S. Pacific Air Forces deployed aircrew, support Airmen and two B-52 Stratofortress bombers to Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Darwin to conduct combined exercises and training with their Australian counterparts Nov. 29 to Dec. 9, 2018.

 

The deployment is part of the Enhanced Air Cooperation (EAC) under the Force Posture Initiative between the United States and Australia.

 

Enhanced Air Cooperation represents the enduring strength of our U.S.-Australian alliance and continued commitment to the regional security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region, said U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Stephen C. Williams, director of air and cyberspace operations, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces. This B-52 deployment to RAAF Base Darwin provides another valuable opportunity for U.S. and Australian Airmen to train together to further promote interoperability and prepare for the challenges of the future.

 

While at RAAF Base Darwin, the detachment, alongside their RAAF counterparts, will provide support to a wide range of exercises and training activities.

 

Through this EAC initiative and the continued enhancement of the RAAF facilities, Pacific Air Forces and the RAAF continue to build upon their individual and combined capabilities, advancing interoperability between the nations.

 

Other aircraft participating in the EAC event include RAAF F/A-18 Super Hornets.

 

Enhancing the ability to conduct joint and combined missions from northern Australia is an integral part of the Force Posture Agreement and contributes greatly to regional security, stability and combined readiness.

 

U.S. B-52s previously participated in an EAC event in April 2018 when they participated in a close air support (CAS) exercise with Australian Army and Royal Australian Air Force units.

http://www.pacom.mil/Media/News/News-Article-View/Article/1704129/pacific-air-forces-airmen-b-52s-arrive-in-australia-for-combined-training/

 

 

About 750 personnel from the 41st Infantry Regiment, 4th Division, of the JGSDF will conduct joint-training with about 250 personnel from the 4th Marine Regiment of the USMC. In addition to usual case of infantry weapons, the Marines are coming with MV-22s and the Japanese are coming with various helicopters and Type 10 tanks. Training goes from December 7th to December 19th at Hijuudai training grounds, Juumonjibara training grounds, and JASDF Tsuiki Air Base.

http://www.mod.go.jp/gsdf/news/press/2018/pdf/20181119.pdf

 

Cope India exercise between the USAF and IAF from December 3rd to December 15th at two India bases in West Bengal. Will involve fighter and transport aircraft from both sides.

 

The Indian Air Force (IAF) and the US Air Force (USAF) have begun a 12-day bilateral joint air exercise known as Cope India 2019 (CI19) involving transport aircraft and fighter jets from both nations.

 

Cope India 2019 exercise is being held at two Indian air bases in Kalaikunda and Panagarh in West Bengal.

 

CI19 is a US Pacific Air Forces-sponsored field training exercise designed to improve mutual cooperation between the two nations.

 

The airmen will train in a range of missions, including subject matter expert exchanges, air mobility training, airdrop training and large-force exercises.

 

13th Air Expeditionary Group Cope India 2019 (AEG-CI19) commander colonel Darryl Insley said: We are excited and grateful for the opportunity to fly and train with our Indian Air Force counterparts within their home country.

 

Through participation in Cope India, Im confident that all airmen involved will both increase their skills and build meaningful bonds through bilateral engagements and exchanges.

 

The USAFs fleet of F15 C/D and C-130 military aircraft will participate in the exercise while the IAF is deploying the Su-30 MKI, Jaguar, Mirage 2000, C-130J and airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft.

 

In addition, the US will deploy approximately 200 airmen with the 15 aircraft from the 18th Wing, Kadena Air Base in Japan and 182nd Airlift Wing, Illinois Air National Guard.

 

The annual exercise took place for the first time in 2004 as a fighter training exercise and was last held in 2009.

https://www.airforce-technology.com/news/iaf-usaf-exercise-cope-india-2019/

 

Japanese C-2 to conduct joint-training with the a C-17 and an AN-32 of the IAF at Agra Air Base from December 1st to December 8th. It marks the first time for the air forces of both countries to conduct joint-training with each other.

http://www.mod.go.jp/asdf/news/houdou/H30/301127_1.pdf

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Three Philippine coast guard ships trained with a Japanese coast guard ship in Manila bay on November 25th.

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and Japan Coast Guard (JCG) on Sunday, November 25, conducted drills against piracy and hijacking incidents at sea.

 

The two coast guard teams staged the drills using 4 patrol ships at the Manila Bay. Of the 4 were the PCG's BRP Suluan and fast patrol boat BRP Boracay, which were acquired from Japan as well as its French-built BRP Panglao. (READ: New Coast Guard vessels from Japan to fight piracy, patrol West PH Sea)

 

Meanwhile, the JCG's Echigo patrol vessel and a helicopter were used for the joint maritime exercise one nautical mile north of Sangley Point in Cavite City.

 

PCG Spokesperson Captain Armand Balilo said the joint exercises were important to prepare against possible pirate attacks. This is especially the case in southeastern Mindanao, where 13,000 foreign vessels pass while going through the 29-kilometer Sibutu Passage from China, Japan, Australia, and South Korea.

 

The Sibutu Passage lies near the Tawi-Tawi islands and is usually used for shipping between the Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea.

 

Balilo said the "zero incidents" of piracy in southeastern Mindanao were a result of intensified maritime patrols from the PCG and the Philippine Navy, as well as cooperation of local government units.

 

The exercises between the PCG and JCG are part of the country's regular exercises in joint maritime cooperation.

https://www.rappler.com/nation/217508-philippines-japan-coast-guards-joint-drills-piracy

 

The Philippines to receive spare Huey parts from Japan, in, atm, first quarter of 2019.

MANILA -- The turnover of the UH-1H "Huey" spare parts and maintenance equipment donation from Japan is tentatively scheduled in the first quarter of 2019.

 

This was disclosed by Department of National Defense (DND) spokesperson Arsenio Andolong in a statement over the weekend.

 

"Following the Exchange of Notes, the DND and the Japan Ministry of Defense (JMOD) will coordinate and finalize the details and schedule of the transfer. The actual turnover of the first batch of spare parts and equipment is tentatively scheduled in the first quarter of next year," Andolong said.

 

Andolong said these spare parts and equipment will be used for the Philippine Air Force’s current compliment of UH-1H helicopters being used for humanitarian assistance and disaster response, transport, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.

 

The PAF is known to operate between 20 to 40 types of the "Huey" helicopter.

 

Meanwhile, Japan and the Philippines on Nov. 7 signed exchange of notes for two Official Development Assistance projects geared towards rehabilitating the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 and enhancing defense.

 

In Tokyo's grant aid for Philippine defense enhancement, Japan will be allotting some 10.68 billion yen (at least PHP5 billion) worth of spare parts and maintenance equipment of UH-1H helicopters to the PAF consisting of the following categories: airframe structure; dynamic power system, control system; rotor system; hydraulic system; electrical system; instrument system; accessory equipment, among others.

 

On the country's mass transport system, Japan's grant aid involves a 38-billion yen (around PHP17.79 billion) loan for MRT3's complete rehabilitation.

 

PH, Russia joint group on defense cooperation convened anew

 

In a related development, the DND announced that the Joint Working Group (JWG) was convened for the second time in Moscow last November 7 as part of Manila's efforts to interact more with its Russian defense counterparts.

 

Andolong said this is in accordance with the 2017 Agreement on Defense Cooperation with the DND and the Russian Ministry of Defense.

 

The Philippine side was headed by DND Assistant Secretary for Assessment and International Affairs Teodoro Cirilo T. Torralba III while Russia was represented by Col. Maxim Vladimirovich Penkin, Head of the 5th Department of the Main Directorate of the International Military Cooperation.

 

"The JWG serves as a platform for both countries to discuss military-to-military engagements or activities for both countries. For the second JWG meeting, the two countries finalized the Plan of Military Cooperation Activities," Andolong said in a statement.

 

"The plan consists of activities/engagements, which both sides agreed to conduct in 2019 to include high level exchanges, port visits of navy vessels, attendance in conferences/fora, general staff consultations, cooperation and security consultations, reciprocal visits of delegations and observers for military training activities, and education and training exchanges," the DND spokesperson emphasized.

 

In relation, Andolong said the Terms of Reference (TOR) of the JWG on Defense Cooperation was signed during the meeting. (PNA)

http://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1053548

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The joint-exercise schedule for units of the JGSDF with other countries for Fiscal Year 2018. I usually avoid articles that talk about planned events because of the possibility of cancellations, changes, or the ariticle itself just being fake hype, but, this document is probably more likely to really happen. But the document does say possibility of some changes and possible additional exercises as part of coordination with the US.

 

US-Japan joint-training

-Command and Control: Yama Sakura 74, Northern Army, in the US, June

-Command and Control: Yama Sakura 75, Northern Army, in Japan, December

 

-Working exercise with US Army in Japan: Orient Shield, North Eastern Army, August-September

-Working exercise with US Army in Japan: North Wind, Northern Army, January-March

 

-Working exercise with USMC in Japan: Northern Viper, Northern Army, July-September

-Working exercise with USMC in Japan: Forest Light 01, Western Army, October-December

-Working exercise with USMC in Japan: Forest Light 02, Middle Army, January-March

 

-Working exercise with US Army in the US: Raising Thunder, Eastern Army, August-September

-Working exercise with US Army in the US: Arctic Aurora, Combined Ground, May-June

-Working exercise with US Army in the US: at the National Training Center, Northern Army, January-March

-Working exercise with US Army in the US: RIMPAC (anti-ship warfare), Western Army, June-August

 

-Working exercise with USMC in the US: RIMPAC (Amphibious vehicles), Combined Ground, June-August

-Working exercise with USMC in the Philippines: KAMANDAG, Combined Ground, September-October

-Working exercise with USMC in the US: Iron Fist, Combined Ground, January-March

 

Japan-US-Australia joint-training

-Participation in Australia: AASAM, Fuji School, April-May

-Working exercise with US and Australia militaries in Australia: Southern Jackaroo, Eastern Army, May-June

-Working exercise with US and Australia militaries in Japan: disaster countermeasures, Middle Army, October

 

Multi-national exercise in Mongolia called Khaan Quest, Combined Ground, June

 

Working exercise with the British Army in Japan: Fuji School, September-October

 

Working exercise with the Indian Army in India: Eastern Army, October-December

 

Four working exercise activities with British Army and Indian Army during the working exercise with the US in anti-ship warfare and the training at the National Training Center in the US.

http://www.mod.go.jp/gsdf/news/press/2018/pdf/20180406.pdf

 

 

 

America's First Corps and Australian army Soldiers work together during Yama Sakura 75 at Camp Higashi-Chitose, Hokkaido, Japan, Dec. 13, 2018. Over the course of the week-long bilateral exercise, the U.S. Army and the Japan Ground Self Defense Force are working together in a simulation of the defense of Japan to strengthen the alliance and the capabilities of both countries' forces. The Australian army is observing the exercise. Multiple sections are participating in the exercise, including signal, clerical, legal, medical and intelligence personnel. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Erica Earl (Photo Credit: Courtesy)

aushappy.jpg

Full article in spoiler

 

 

CAMP HIGASHI-CHITOSE, Japan-- Throughout the command post at Camp Higashi-Chitose, Hokkaido, Japan, Soldiers from America's First Corps and the Japan Northern Army discuss ideas and strategies, use interpreters and gestures to navigate the language barrier and learn the nuances in the ways each force operates at Yama Sakura 75, Dec. 10-16, 2018.

 

About 600 Soldiers from the U.S. Army, including I Corps and the Utah National Guard, are working with the Japan Ground Self Defense Force in the week-long, bilateral exercise to increase cohesiveness and deepen the alliance between America and Japan.

 

The U.S. Army is augmented by the U.S. Marines, Navy and Air Force during the exercise.

 

Yama Sakura is a simulation of the defense of Japan in which participants practice the skills and requirements needed to deploy to aid with security of the region. Personnel from multiple sections, including intelligence, current and future operations, logistics, medical and legal, are engaged in the exercise.

 

The annual exercise moves to a different location in Japan each year, allowing the U.S. to work with each of Japan's five regional Armies.

https://www.army.mil/article/215093/us_and_japan_strengthen_alliance_at_yama_sakura_75

A total of about 5,000 from the SDF and about 1,600 from the US military are participating from a time scale a little wider than whats is described in the artile above, probably depending on who is concerned. Anyway, time period given is Dec 3rd to Dec 17th.

http://www.mod.go.jp/gsdf/news/press/2018/pdf/2018110801.pdf

 

 

 

henoko.jpg

Sea shell, crab, and seaweed habitat killing Land filling for the new USMC base at Henoko to start on December 14th. It is thought that it'll have an affect on prefecture referendum on February 24th and Lower House elections in the summer. The recently elected new governor Tamaki ran on an anti-base platform and is of course demanding it to be canceled although government Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga says the work will continue. And Minister of Defense Iwaya said at a meeting with Governor Tamaki that it'll reduce the burden on Okinawa while maintaining deterrence force and that moving the facilities to Henoko is the only solution to returning Futenma.

 

 

 

政府は14日、沖縄県の米軍普天間飛行場(宜野湾市)の名護市辺野古移設に向け、埋め立て海域で土砂の投入を開始する。移設工事を早期に進め、辺野古移設の是非を問う来年2月24日の県民投票や夏の参院選への影響を抑えたい考えだ。

 

 沖縄県の玉城デニー知事は13日、首相官邸で菅義偉官房長官と面会し、14日の土砂投入の中止を求めた。菅氏は「工事は引き続き進める」と述べ、政府と県の溝は埋まらなかった。玉城氏が記者団に明らかにした。

 

玉城氏は記者団に対し「県でどのような方法が取れるか協議を進めている」とも語り、工事中止に向けた対抗策を検討していることを明らかにした。

 

 玉城氏はこれに先立ち、防衛省で岩屋毅防衛相と面会した。工事中止を強く求めた玉城氏に対し、岩屋氏は「抑止力を維持しながら沖縄の負担を軽減する」と強調した。「普天間飛行場返還のためには辺野古への移設が唯一の解決策だ」とも語った。

https://www.sankei.com/politics/news/181213/plt1812130029-n1.html

 

 

 

 

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HMS Argyll to conduct joint-training with JS Izumo and a JMSDF P-1 as well as a USN P-8A in waters and air space south of Honshu island on December 22nd. Will be the first time for such a trilateral joint-training to occur.

http://www.mod.go.jp/msdf/release/201812/20181218.pdf

 

The joint-training included a US submarine and focused on ASW.

 

 

PHILIPPINE SEA – For the first time, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Royal Navy and U.S. Navy joined forces for a trilateral exercise, Dec. 21-22, held in waters south of Japan.

 

Focused on anti-submarine warfare, the exercise featured drills with JMSDF helicopter destroyer JS Izumo (DDH 183), RN Type 23 frigate, HMS Argyll (F231), and a U.S. Navy submarine.

 

"This exercise provided an unprecedented opportunity to work together in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific," said Rear Adm. James Pitts, commander of U.S. Submarine Group 7. “Working together to learn more about our systems and processes helps us cooperate more effectively at sea.”

 

A U.S. Navy P-8A maritime patrol aircraft from the “War Eagles” of Patrol Squadron (VP) 16 also participated.

 

"This was an exciting opportunity to bring together two of our country's closest allies to exercise and improve upon our combined capabilities," said Capt. Brian Erickson, commander of Task Force Seven Two, which includes Patrol Squadron 16.

 

While all three maritime services operate together regularly, and train during multilateral exercises like Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), this is the first trilateral exercise of its kind in the 7th Fleet area or operations. It reflects a shared commitment to enhance maritime cooperation since a 2016 trilateral summit attended by all three service chiefs.

 

“Given the increase in maritime traffic worldwide and current events, the importance of increased collaboration and cooperation between our three highly capable and like-minded services can't be overstated,” said Capt. Katsuyoshi Motoyama, commander of JS Izumo. “We all share a common vision of enhancing the operational effectiveness of our maritime forces.”

 

The opportunity for a trilateral exercise arose from HMS Argyll’s nine-month deployment in support of regional security and stability.

 

“Sharing the Royal Navy’s expertise and experience with our partners and allies right across the world emphasizes the U.K.’s commitment to promoting international security and stability,” said Cmdr. Toby Shaughnessy, commanding officer of HMS Argyll.

 

Patrol Squadron (VP) 16 War Eagles is homeported in Jacksonville, Fla. and serving on a rotational deployment to 7th Fleet out of Misawa, Japan.

 

 

http://www.c7f.navy.mil/Media/News/Display/Article/1719515/maritime-forces-from-japan-uk-us-practice-submarine-hunting-in-philippine-sea/

usukjp2.jpg

Three more images in the spoiler

 

usukjp3.jpg

 

usukjp4.jpg

 

usukjp1.jpg

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/submarinegroup7/posts/2124125607625989?__xts__[0]=68.ARDeZR2Lu110_GEYSNQxWkIRmDbzGwfeF6V2qiMAalWnFOpO86kL1RO2S3cl0QVVIX3kFiYFNlfKQQFewX_VVh--7c8tn0aeI4oEYmj7HZSWZxloz2QFr6xpNHqmsqQFzBfo1rHTp6Q-sFzp4R-72Np3EgugxQOvZutq6SwE6wYGiTobPFPPcx7Kaed37kUAxpcf-0jPqw9992VumDzwzfUL3zPJ6FjclO9nG3KzejELuZ6M_kSbwKDKmFZNSNyOWwMbwyw-1ksIK9U8G2NHzXXoXMxKC3yFtUng4F5mWOg3uqPKlI46EaGdrklu8ctWWkNCiE2MnijwJkJsW47gjTgIgss3DcCaPVgdAfPzjBY6zIyYTZ1kpDbuGw1rCAbjhYwRVSKlqR9Nl_EIs4v3IKbqBpSYRdaMVWP_m7cR6yX25EFqvqvXjBoW-hqMPnV8V_qSmzR8y-n0huqvPa1RKs7RxJmVTOrxRwQki8fd312WnIZiK9bZYNsN&__tn__=-R

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46502835711_2706297d73_k%2B%25281%2529.j

 

 

INDIAN OCEAN (Dec. 26, 2018) - The San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS Anchorage (LPD 23), and embarked 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit participate in a cooperative deployment with the Indian Navy's INS Rajput (D51), to test their ability to communicate and improve on maritime capabilities between partners. The Anchorage is deployed as part of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG). The Essex ARG and 13th MEU are a capable and lethal Navy-Marine Corps team deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to support regional stability, reassure partners and allies and maintain a presence postured to respond to any crisis ranging from humanitarian assistance to contingency operations. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Austin Mealy) 181226-M-YR007-1332

https://www.flickr.com/photos/us-pacific-command/46502835711/in/dateposted-public/

 

POTUS signs into action the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act.

 

 

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – In Washington D.C., just before ushering in the New Year on Dec. 31, U.S. President Donald Trump signed the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act (ARIA) into law along with 12 other bills.

The ARIA Act calls for increased U.S. engagement in the Indo-Pacific region and strengthened support, including arms sales, for U.S. allies like Taiwan and others.

The act was designed to counter the encroaching influence and growing threat from China, and to reinvigorate U.S. leadership in the region.

ARIA requests a budget of US$1.5 billion over a five year period to enhance economic, diplomatic and security cooperation with strategic regional allies.

It advises the U.S. government to sell arms to Taiwan on a regular basis to meet the country's legitimate self-defense needs, as well as recommending top administration and military officials visit Taipei in accordance with the Taiwan Travel Act.

The bill also reaffirms the U.S. position that cross-strait disputes must reach a "peaceful resolution acceptable to both sides of the Taiwan Strait."

Upon signing the Act Trump issued a statement declaring that his administration will commit to carrying out the provisions outlined in the ARIA Act which will see increased U.S. engagement across the Indo-Pacific.

"My Administration will treat these provisions consistent with the President's exclusive constitutional authorities as Commander in Chief and as the sole representative of the United States in foreign affairs," President Trump was quoted by CNA.

The ARIA Act was introduced into the Senate in April by Senator Cory Gardner, and was co-sponsored by Senators Edward Markey, Marco Rubio, and Ben Cardin. ARIA was passed by the Senate on Dec. 4, and approved by the House on Dec. 12.

The Ministry of Foreign affairs has expressed their thanks to the U.S. Congress and the President for passing the ARIA Act which will ensure increased cooperation and maintain the U.S. strategic partnership with Taiwan in the years to come.

The full text of the ARIA Act can be found on the congress.gov web site.

https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3608137

 

 

A couple of videos of the Forest Light 01 exercise described in the second part of post #235.

First just some shoots of several of the aircraft used.

 

Second one is a promo of it and embedded in the FB link.

https://ja-jp.facebook.com/jgsdf.fp/videos/1159029817606390/

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-Start Descent Training-

dropdrop.jpg

About 70 US soldiers from the Green Beret based at Okinawa and the 4th Brigade, 25th Infantry Division based at Alaska joined the annual "Start Descent Training" which was held on January 13th at Narashino Maneuver Grounds which was open to the public. The exercise features the JGSDF 1st Airborne Brigade. A total of about 600 personnel from the three SDF branches participating. It was also the first time for a C-2 to participate in the exercise. Other vehicles such as Type 10s and AAV7s were also used. It's the third consecutive year for US forces to participate in the annual exercise, 2017 and 2018 linked.

 

 

陸上自衛隊習志野演習場(千葉県船橋市・八千代市)で13日に行われた第1空挺(くうてい)団恒例の「降下訓練始め」。南西諸島などの離島奪還を想定した訓練では、島しょ防衛専門部隊の水陸機動団と連携し、「敵」の支配地域に潜入、制圧する場面を公開した。陸自によると、来場者は約1万人に上った。

岩屋防衛相、日米部隊を視察

訓練には空挺団に加えて第1ヘリコプター団や中央即応連隊など自衛隊員約600人とともに、昨年に続きトリイステーション(沖縄県読谷村)に駐留する「グリーンベレー」と呼ばれる米陸軍第1特殊作戦大隊や、米アラスカ州を拠点にする第25師団第4歩兵旅団戦闘団の空挺部隊計70人も参加。

 昨年11月の日米統合演習「キーン・ソード」では、第1空挺団の隊員が横田基地(東京都福生市)配備の米空軍C130輸送機から、日出生台(ひじゅうだい)演習場(大分県)に降下する訓練を初めて実施しており、特殊作戦に投入される空挺部隊間でも日米の相互運用性を高める動きが顕著になっている。

降下に先立ち、岩屋毅防衛相は習志野駐屯地の空挺基本訓練場を訪れ、第1空挺団長や降下長、団長先任上級曹長、グリーンベレーら降下する日米の指揮官を視察した。空自C2輸送機の機内を模した降下訓練施設の説明も受けた。

この日の演習場は風がやや強かったものの、日差しがまぶしい冬晴れで視程良好。訓練展示ではまず、空自C2輸送機に搭乗した日米の隊員で構成する先遣隊が高度1000メートル以上から降下。高い高度から降下するのは、輸送機への対空脅威を警戒し、隊員が敵の支配地域からかなり離れた上空から降下し、長距離滑空して潜入・偵察できるようにするためだ。

続いて空挺主力部隊が東京タワーとほぼ同じ高さの高度340メートルから舞い降り、目的地に短時間で降着。先遣隊と連携して陣地を確保し、水陸機動団の水陸両用車(AAV7)など海上から上陸する部隊を誘導した。

 演習後、岩屋防衛相は「日米両国の隊員が肩を並べて空挺降下しているのをこの目で見て、改めて日米同盟の絆の深まりを実感した。今後さらに一層、現場での日米連携の強化を図ってもらいたい」などと訓示した。

◇空挺団、日航機事故にも派遣

 大空で大輪となるパラシュートと比べると地味だが、ヘリからロープを伝って地上に降りる「リペリング」の訓練展示も行われた。リペリングはパラシュートでは降下できない不整地の目標地点に正確に降りる場合に欠かせない技量だ。空挺団のリペリングは1985年に起きた日航機墜落事故の救出活動でも役立った。

同事故の救出活動では、習志野駐屯地からヘリコプターで派遣された第1空挺団は、現場上空でヘリの着陸は不可能と判断し、73人の隊員はリペリングで降下。4人の生存者をヘリに引き上げ、救助した。助かった子どもを抱えて上空のヘリに収容する隊員の姿は、多くの人の目に焼き付いた。

 ◇C2輸送機
 今回の降下始めでは、空自のC2輸送機も使用された。C2は純国産の輸送機で、C1の後継機。航続距離7600キロ、最大搭載重量も36トンといずれもC1の4倍以上の輸送能力がある。陸上自衛隊の大型装備の輸送が可能となり、有事の島しょ防衛で使用される水陸両用車(AAV7)や、16式機動戦闘車、多用途ヘリのUH60JA「ブラックホーク」を搭載できる。巡航速度はC1の1.3倍で、1機で110人の隊員を降下させられる。(時事通信社編集委員 時事総研 不動尚史)。(2019/01/13-20:12)

 

 

https://www.jiji.com/jc/article?k=2019011300375&g=soc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPwNYNTq0i0

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US and Australia in Exercise Sea Dragon at Guam, from January 14th to January 25th. Training is in anti-submarine warfare. Involves four USAF P-8As, one RAAF P-8A. and one USN Los Angeles-class submarine.

 

 

 

The US Air Force (USAF) and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) have started the annual, multinational 2019 Exercise Sea Dragon at Andersen Air Force Base, in Guam. Exercise Sea Dragon will involve strengthening anti-submarine warfare and is scheduled to run for 11 days until 25 January 2019.

The US units participating in this year’s event include Patrol Squadron (VP) 47, VP-16, both operating under CTF-72, and Commander, Submarine Squadron (CSS) 15, operating under CTF-74.

The RAAF units will join US units throughout the exercise, which will be overseen by CTF-72.

CTF-72 maritime patrol aircraft captain Brian Erickson said: “Exercise Sea Dragon is an exciting opportunity to enhance maritime patrol relationships in the Western Pacific and focus on building anti-submarine warfare proficiency and increase warfighting lethality.”

During the exercise, four USAF and one RAAF P-8A Poseidons alongside aircrews will conduct flight operations, with support from a joint Mobile Tactical Operations centre.

Exercise Sea Dragon involves coordinated anti-submarine warfare prosecution against both simulated and live targets. The exercise includes a US Navy’s Los Angeles-class attack submarine assigned to CSS-15.

VP-47 2019 Exercise Sea Dragon officer in charge lieutenant commander Korhan Orgun said: “Being a multi-national exercise, our goal is to work closely with our Pacific allies and to continue to foster relationships in the region.

“We’ll do this through anti-submarine warfare events and learning to work together more efficiently. Additionally, this exercise is a chance for us to further hone our anti-submarine warfare skills and become even more proficient in one of our core missions.”

CTF-72 is responsible for leading forces in support of US 7th Fleet (C7F) to promote regional security and enhance reconnaissance and surveillance capability within C7F and partner forces.

In May 2018, the US Navy conducted anti-submarine warfare exercises in the Norwegian Sea, along with forces from Canada, France, Norway, and the UK. The US Navy led activities to improve tactical abilities and interoperability of the respective forces.

https://www.naval-technology.com/news/us-australia-anti-submarine-warfare/

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Iron Fist 2019 - Japanese ARDB trains with USMC at Camp Pendleton, California. Went from January 7th to February 16th. Japanese side included 550 personnel and 10 Japanese AAV7s and from the American side included landing ships, LCACs, and Ospreys.

 

 

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, California --
U.S. Marines from 1st Marine Division and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Soldiers with the 1st Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade celebrated another successful exercise during the closing ceremony of Iron Fist 2019, Feb. 8, at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California.

In addition to building upon the U.S.-Japan Alliance, Exercise Iron Fist 2019 provided the JGSDF with certification of its first amphibious assault force.

“I am proud to share this moment with one of our closest and most dependable allies: the soldiers of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force. Today we take another step forward in strengthening the important relationship between the U.S. Marine Corps and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force,” said Maj. Gen. Robert F. Castellvi, commanding general, 1st Marine Division during the closing ceremony.

Exercise Iron Fist is a multilateral training exercise in Southern California that focused on advanced marksmanship, fire and maneuver assaults, amphibious reconnaissance, staff planning, logistical support, familiarization of medical capabilities, fire support operations and amphibious landing operations.

This is the 14th iteration of Iron Fist, and the first time the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force brought their own assault amphibious vehicles. The JGSDF also certified the unit to become Japan’s first fully operational Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade.

“The development brought about by [Japan’s] own assault amphibious vehicles significantly increases [their] ability to employ amphibious combat power and keep the people of Japan safe from our adversaries,” said Castellvi.

With continued risk in the Western Pacific, gaining the ability to employ an amphibious force during Iron Fist 2019 was a significant accomplishment for the JGSDF. In order to achieve this, the Soldiers from the 1st ARDB put their skills to the test at the West Coast’s premier expeditionary training base.

“Camp Pendleton, aside from being close to the ocean and enhancing our ability to conduct amphibious operations has an expansive training area with multiple ranges and very challenging terrain,” said Col. Kevin Clark, commanding officer, 1st Marine Regiment. “This year, almost every day, our Marines, Sailors and JGSDF soldiers have been in the field. Many of those days it rained where they had to battle the elements.”

Despite the rain, and the challenges which came with it, Marines and Soldiers utilized every opportunity to train and learn from one another.

“The Marine Corps’ role during this exercise was a teach, coach and share best practices approach,” said Clark. “Its been a give and take for both sides, each sharing tactics and practices to the other.”

Sharing these tactics and practices offers the opportunity to build confidence within the troops. Learning each other’s strengths and weaknesses and having the confidence in each other creates an effective combined military operation.

“I can’t emphasize how important this training has been for both of our nations,” said Lt. Gen. Joseph Osterman, commanding general of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force. “Iron Fist has sharpened our amphibious capabilities to quickly deploy sea-based assets in a multinational environment. Globally, naval expeditionary forces provide an important stabilizing capability for today’s unpredictable threats.”
https://www.marines.mil/News/News-Display/Article/1755563/iron-fist-2019-strengthens-us-japan-alliance-certifies-ardb/

 

usmcardb1.jpg

http://www.mod.go.jp/gsdf/news/train/2019/20190212.html

 

usmcardb2.jpg

http://www.mod.go.jp/gsdf/news/train/2019/20190130.html

 

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A US Los Angeles-class submarine to participate in a JMSDF ASW training which includes from the Japanese side 5 destroyers, 5 submarines, and several aircraft. The training goes from February 13th to the 22nd and takes place in waters off from Shikoku.

 

 

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan – The U.S. Navy has sent a Los Angeles-class attack submarine to waters south of Japan to partake in the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Submarine Competition that began Wednesday.

Aside from the U.S. submarine, the weeklong competition this year will feature five JMSDF ships, to include the Hyuga-class helicopter destroyer JS Ise, four JMSDF aircraft wings, several JMSDF submarines and an aircraft squadron, according to a Navy statement released Tuesday.

The competition stands as a test for all crews across numerous platforms to gauge proficiency in anti-submarine warfare.

The Navy did not identify the U.S. submarine taking part in the competition.

While the primary purpose of the competition is to assess the ability of Japanese crews in a multitude of anti-submarine warfare scenarios, including a U.S. submarine provides the opportunity for “valuable bilateral cooperation” between the two allied forces, Capt. John Stafford, Submarine Group 7 deputy chief of staff for operations, said in the statement.

“This is the kind of anti-submarine exercise our crews train for at home and practice at sea,” he said. “We’re pleased that our boat will have the opportunity to put their training to good use and we look forward to the opportunity to showcase our skills while working with our Japanese counterparts in a forward-deployed environment.”

While the exercise is underway, a U.S. Navy sonar technician with the U.S. Pacific Fleet Navy Data Center will operate alongside the crew of a JMSDF submarine, according to the statement.

“We are very pleased to have a U.S. Navy submarine play a role in this year’s submarine competition,” said JMSDF Capt. Toshiaki Hoshina, deputy chief of staff for operations, Commander, Fleet Submarine Force. “Their participation will significantly improve our interoperability and strengthen the partnership among our forces.”

The crew with the top performance throughout the exercise will be presented with the Japanese Battle Efficiency Award.

 

 

https://www.stripes.com/news/pacific/us-submarine-joins-naval-competition-south-of-japan-1.568590

 

http://www.mod.go.jp/msdf/release/201902/20190212.pdf

Edited by JasonJ
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An American oiler, USNS Guadalupe, conducted joint training with HMS Montrose on February 18th in the South China Sea.

 

SOUTH CHINA SEA -- U.S. Navy fleet replenishment oiler USNS Guadalupe (T-AO 200) and Royal Navy frigate HMS Montrose (F236) conducted maritime security and logistics training in the South China Sea, Feb. 18.

 

The drills involved Royal Marine commandos, Royal Navy sailors and Guadalupe crew members. During a visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) scenario, Montrose’s boarding team embarked and secured Guadalupe, which simulated a vessel engaged in high seas trafficking. The ships also practiced replenishment at sea using NATO procedures, which ensured that the two ships, despite never having working together before, could safely and efficiently transfer fuel while underway.

 

“This was a valuable exercise for us, keeping our integrated Royal Navy and Royal Marines boarding team sharp and ready to deliver any mission assigned to them,” said Cmdr. Conor O’Neill, commanding officer of HMS Montrose. “That we were able to achieve this training, and the replenishment drills afterwards, is testament to the close working relationship between the Royal and United States Navies, both in the Pacific and globally.”

 

“It helps expand our capabilities and I believe it helps them, as well,” said Eric Naranjo, civilian mariner chief mate aboard Guadalupe. “It’s important because if you don’t practice these scenarios, you won’t have the skills necessary to succeed when the time comes.”

 

This is the third cooperative deployment between the U.S Navy and the Royal Navy in as many months. USS McCampbell (DDG 85) and HMS Argyll (F231) operated together in the South China Sea in January, and a trilateral anti-submarine warfare exercise was held between the U.S. Navy, Royal Navy, and Japan Maritime Self Defense Force Dec. 21-22.

 

Guadalupe, the 14th Henry J. Kaiser-class replenishment oiler, is conducting routine operations, providing logistical support to U.S. Navy and allied forces operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility.

https://www.pacom.mil/Media/News/News-Article-View/Article/1762009/us-british-navies-conduct-maritime-security-drills/

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A US Los Angeles class sub joined up with 4 Australian subs.

 

 

USS Santa Fe (SSN 763) joins Royal Australian Navy Collins Class Submarines HMAS Collins, HMAS Farncomb, HMAS Dechaineux and HMAS Sheean in formation in the West Australian Exercise Area. Royal Australian Navy Collins Class Submarines HMAS Collins, HMAS Farncomb, HMAS Dechaineux and HMAS Sheean were joined in formation by United States Navy Submarine USS Santa Fe in the West Australian Exercise Area for a PHOTOEX in February 2019. The submarines were in the area to participate in a number of activities, including Exercise Lungfish 2019 and Exercise Ocean Explorer 2019. (Courtesy photo by LSIS Richard Cordell)

1and4subs.jpg

https://www.dvidshub.net/image/5131719/submarines-cockburn-sound

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Resilient Shield 2019 - US and Japan joint training in BMD and air defense. Its the exercise's second time. Went from February 25th and 28th to March 1st.

 

Included from the US were Commander, Task Force (CTF) 70 and ships from the 7th fleet which were USS Shiloh, USS Barry, USS Curtis Wilbur, USS Milius, and USS McCampbell.

 

From Japan, from the JGSDF, the 2nd Antiaircraft Artillary Brigade of the Western Army and the 15th Antiaircraft Artillary Regiment. From the JMSDF were JS Kongo, JS Myoko, JS Suzutsuki, and JS Akizuki. From the JASDF were the Southwestern Aircraft Control & Warning Wing and the 2nd and 5th Air Defence Missile Groups.

 

 

YOKOSUKA, Japan -- Commander, U.S. Seventh Fleet ships, U.S. Air Force and Army assets, and units from the Japan Maritime and Air Self-Defense Forces, completed Resilient Shield 2019, March 1.

 

Resilient Shield is an annual computer-based Fleet Synthetic Training-Joint (FST-J) exercise held within the Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet area of Operations (AOO) and other command centers throughout the region.

 

Resilient Shield strengthens interoperability by enhancing joint multi-lateral operations between the U.S. and Japan Forces, by allowing them to focus on synthetic ballistic missile defense exercises.

 

This exercise enables Japanese and U.S. Naval vessels to enter into synthetic operational situations using the naval continuous training environment said Capt. Michael Smith, 7th Fleet Air Defense Officer.

 

Participating Seventh Fleet Units include Commander, Task Force (CTF) 70, along with the guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67), Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15 and guided-missile destroyers USS Barry (DDG 52), USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54), USS Milius (DDG 69) and USS McCampbell (DDG 85). Resilient Shield is an annual computer-based Fleet Synthetic Training-Joint (FST-J) exercise held at Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka (CFAY), Japan, and other command centers in Asia and the United States.

 

Resilient Shield 2019 is specifically focused on BMD training for JMSDF ships and 7th Fleet's forward deployed ships. Both U.S. Navy and JMSDF BMD-capable ships, along with the U.S. Air Force and JASDF, provide a robust missile defense capability for the U.S. and our allies.

 

 

The ships' warfighting teams will exchange operational integrated air and missile defense (IAMD), surface warfare, and anti-submarine warfare information for advanced tactical training. This training is designed to improve proficiency in warfighting and joint operations for ballistic missile defense.

 

The successful defense of the U.S. and our allies from unanticipated ballistic missile threats requires detailed planning, precision ship stationing and quick defensive reactions. In turn, the missile defense mission is one of many missions that the U.S. and allies practice on a regular basis to maintain maximum proficiency and cooperation.

https://www.c7f.navy.mil/Media/News/Display/Article/1773158/us-forces-japan-maritime-self-defense-force-participate-in-resilient-shield-2019/

 

http://www.mod.go.jp/js/Press/press2019/press_pdf/p20190221_02.pdf

Edited by JasonJ
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US Ospreys stationed in Yokota made a landed at Da Nang International Airport, Vietnam for the first time on February 10th. The 4 Ospreys refueled at the airport while en-route towards Thailand for an multinational exercise in Thailand.

vietOsprey.jpg

 

 

 

Loại máy bay CV-22 Osprey rất linh hoạt, vừa có thể cất hạ cánh theo phương thẳng đứng vừa bay ngang với tốc độ cao như máy bay cánh quạt. Không quân Mỹ xác nhận phi đội máy bay vận tải CV-22 Osprey đã hạ cánh xuống sân bay quốc tế Đà Nẵng lần đầu tiên hồi tuần rồi.

Tờ Star and Stripes ngày 10.2 dẫn lời nữ phát ngôn viên Renee Douglas của đơn vị tác chiến đặc biệt 353 thuộc Không quân Mỹ cho biết 4 chiếc CV-22 Osprey trực thuộc đơn vị này đóng quân tại căn cứ Yokota, Nhật Bản.

“Bốn chiếc CV-22 Osprey đã dừng tại sân bay quốc tế Đà Nẵng để tiếp nhiên liệu theo kế hoạch trong vòng 1 giờ. Sau đó, các máy bay này bay đến Thái Lan để tham gia cuộc tập trận quốc tế Hổ mang Vàng lần thứ 19”, bà Douglas nói.

Cuộc tập trận diễn ra từ ngày 20.1 đến 23.2 với sự tham gia của gần 4.000 binh sĩ Mỹ.

Trước đó, trên mạng xã hội xuất hiện hình ảnh 4 chiếc CV-22 Osprey đậu tại sân bay quốc tế Đà Nẵng.

Đà Nẵng là nơi tiếp nhiên liệu thông thường của máy bay quân sự Mỹ khi đi qua khu vực, nhưng đây là lần đầu tiên CV-22 Osprey đến Việt Nam, theo phát ngôn viên Douglas.

Được mệnh danh “chim ưng biển”, Osprey là loại máy bay trực thăng lai máy bay cánh quạt cánh cố định, do Boeing chế tạo. Khi cất và hạ cánh thì hai động cơ sẽ dựng đứng để máy bay hoạt động như một trực thăng, khi đạt độ cao nhất định thì hai động cơ xoay theo phương nằm ngang để Osprey bay như một máy bay cánh quạt cố định.

Máy bay có tốc độ tối đa 565 km/giờ, trần bay 7.520 m, tầm hoạt động 1.627 km hoặc 3.590 km với thùng dầu phụ. CV-22 là phiên bản theo đơn đặt hàng của Bộ tư lệnh Chiến dịch đặc biệt (USSOCOM) của Không quân Mỹ với thùng dầu lớn hơn.

https://thuonghieucongluan.com.vn/phi-doi-may-bay-cv-22-osprey-cua-my-lan-dau-tien-ha-canh-o-san-bay-da-nang-a70576.html

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Cope North 19 - US Japan Australia at Guam.

 

Large aerial exercise involving a total of about 3,000 personnel and 100 aircraft. Was from February 20th to March 8th. The exercise also had a disaster and humanitarian relief portion which went from February 17th to March 2nd. The bulk of aircraft were American that included F-16s, F-18s, a B-52, as well as other types. Twenty one aircraft from Japan which included 8 F-15Js and 6 F-2s and sixteen aircraft from Australia which included 12 F/A-18s.

 

 

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- The exercise scenario for the final week of COPE North 2019 evolved from a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operation to combat air operations after an aggressive nation downed a friendly aircraft. This brought about a combined effort from three nations and an opportunity to integrate and project air superiority to deter further aggression and when necessary, defeat the aggressors.

“The tremendous advantage to COPE North is that it brings together about 3,000 Airmen, almost 100 aircraft, 20 different units from three nations, the United States, Australia and Japan,” said Lt. Gen. Kevin Schneider, U.S. Forces Japan and 5th Air Force commander. “When you look at the combat capabilities that are exercised for this event, air superiority, air interdiction, electronic warfare, tactical airlift, air refueling—all of these are critical capabilities to all of our nations to be able to deter conflict, and in the event that deterrence fails, these are war winning capabilities that will help us prevail.”

U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, Koku Jieitai (Japan Air Self-Defense Force), and Royal Australian air force (RAAF) airmen and assets were able to integrate and demonstrate skills to convert a contested air and ground space into one that allows for the free movement of allied assets.

“This is one of our only opportunities to train with our allies in a large exercise in the Pacific region,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Christopher Moeller, 13th Fighter Squadron Commander. “It is a unique opportunity to train with two allies that share a common goal within the region. The exercise allows us to use these forces in a very large, complex advanced threat environment.”

The 18th Aggressor Squadron, who are specially trained and dedicated to replicate air warfare tactics of the worlds most advanced enemies, provided realistic threat representation of air combat with near-peer adversaries for the high-end fight. Their presence allowed for all three nations to integrate tactics to defeat a future threat.

“I would like to say that we are doing a pretty decent job,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Darrell Cherf, 18th Aggressor Squadron academics officer. “However, the blue forces are putting up a good fight. The combined multilateral force with their command and control, escort, as well as multirole strike packages are [preventing] us from accomplishing our objectives.”

The allied forces are guided by formidable command and control platforms from all three nations. These aircraft, although different in design, all provide the same function—to gather and distribute information needed for commanders and air operators to gain and maintain absolute control of an air battle and the space in which it takes place.

“We have the incredible opportunity here to train with the JASDF and their [E-2D Hawkeyes] and controlling agencies as well as the RAAF [EA-7 Wedgetail] and their tankers, all working together towards one common goal,” said Moeller. “The most successful thing for us has been our pilots’ opportunity to integrate through the entire planning process and execution with different assets and different countries.

Seamless integration and handoff occurred among the nations, proving the ability to distribute information to allies to dominate the air battlespace over land or sea. This happens because of the incredible participation and dedication from Pacific allies.

“Koku-Jieitiai has participated in COPE North exercises in Guam since 1999, for 20 years,” said Japan Air Self-Defense Force Lt. Gen. Shigeki Muto, Air Defense Command commander. “In 20 years, considerable participation has demonstrated the Koku-Jieitiai commitment to peace and stability throughout Indo-Pacific region.”

That commitment was evident across the alliance not only during air combat sorties, but also on the ground as maintenance personnel from all nations worked together to ensure the safe and efficient operation of airframes.

“We are able to integrate across a wide range of both U.S. and Japanese assets,” said RAAF Wing Commander Pete Robinson, Commanding Officer, No. 75 Squadron. “It’s a fabulous experience for both our maintainers and aircrew to see what true large force employment looks like.”

Launching nearly 900 sorties, the multinational combined airpower was able to posture, operate and project combat air dominance out of an area of roughly five square miles, demonstrating the ability to quickly eliminate threats to peace throughout the region, maintaining stability, safety and security.

“One of the asymmetric advantages that we have is the strength of our alliances and the strength of our partnerships,” said Schneider. “So whether we are training at COPE North or different multilateral and bilateral exercises, the fact that we can come together as allies and partners to train together, to work together to improve our interoperability, all improves our readiness and lethality, which again is tremendously important as we look at our ability to deter and prevail in a time of conflict.”

 

 

https://www.pacom.mil/Media/News/News-Article-View/Article/1780433/us-japanese-and-australian-forces-conclude-cope-north-2019-with-air-dominance/

http://www.mod.go.jp/asdf/news/houdou/H30/310201.pdf

 

 

 

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has deployed 16 aircraft and over 450 personnel to participate in Exercise Cope North in Guam. The exercise focuses on interoperability with Australia’s counterparts from the United States and Japan.

Exercise Cope North, held from 18 February to 8 March 2019 at Andersen Air Force Base, is a long-standing joint military exercise to improve combat readiness, humanitarian assistance procedures and cooperation between the defence forces of the United States, Australia and Japan.

Group Captain Nicholas Hogan, Australian Commander for Exercise Cope North, said it was an effective way to strengthen military alliances.

“More than 2,900 military personnel and approximately 100 aircraft from the RAAF, United States Air Force, United States Navy and Japan Air Self Defense Force will participate,” Group Captain Hogan said.

“The exercise will begin with humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training, and conclude with air combat and large force employment training, to refine our procedures and operate more effectively alongside our military partners in the region.”

Twelve F/A-18A Hornets, an E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft, two C-27J Spartans, a KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport, a Combat Support Element and an Aeromedical Evacuation Team have deployed to the exercise.

 

https://news.defence.gov.au/media/media-releases/air-force-joins-united-states-and-japan-exercise-cope-north

 

Although in late February, the exercise was interrupted and put on pause for a little while because of Typhoon Wutip. Some aircraft had to relocate to different locations as a result, such as the 6 F-2s which returned to Japan on February 22nd.

 

 

COPE North 2019 paused Feb. 22 as a precautionary measure due to hazardous conditions and potentially damaging winds caused by Typhoon Wutip.

For the safety and security of assets, aircraft will either bed down at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, or relocated to alternate locations until the weather is more favorable for safe operations.

“While the unplanned weather paused training for COPE North 2019, Typhoon Wutip provided the nearly 3,000 multilateral exercise participates an opportunity to swiftly implement an inclement weather plan for the approximately 100 aircraft assigned to the exercise and test their ability to rapidly maneuver throughout the theater at a moment’s notice,” explained Col. Jason Cockrum, U.S. COPE North 2019 exercise director and 35th Fighter Wing operations group commander. “Typhoon Wutip is an opportunity to demonstrate the airpower the three nations provide, and the multilateral alliance is overcoming this weather challenge through deliberate planning and disciplined execution.

During the remainder of the exercise, U.S., Royal Australian Air Force and Japan Air Self-Defense Force airmen will continue to hone vital readiness skills and improve interoperability among multiple mission areas including tactical airlift, contingency response coordination, aeromedical evacuation, as well as air superiority, interdiction, electronic warfare, tactical airlift and aerial refueling capabilities.

“A premier exercise like COPE North is designed to challenge our ability to connect, communicate, and succeed multilaterally,” added Maj. Matthew Sabraw, lead COPE North 2019 planner and 35th Fighter Wing operations group chief of standardization and evaluation. “With the weather rolling in, we are united in using it as an opportunity to truly work together to rapidly solve problems just as we would in a crisis or contingency. Our relationships are strengthened through this trial and our alliance is closer as a result of COPE North and the response to Typhoon Wutip.”

COPE North 2019 will resume once the conditions are more favorable for safer flight operations. More information pertaining to the pause and resumption of COPE North 2019 will be released as it becomes available.

 

https://www.postguam.com/news/local/cope-north-paused-until-wutip-passes/article_dedb6b0c-3643-11e9-ba5a-d3c0d2e1012f.html

 

cn191.jpg

https://www.dvidshub.net/image/5115811/cope-north-19

Eight more images in the spoiler

 

Edited by JasonJ
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