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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

 

For those of us who are not airplane aficionados, what are the front row airplanes in post #250?

Second question, has there been a serious study of using transport aircraft as bombers?

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HMS Montrose is on visit in Japan for a few days.

 

 

 

In a news release, the Royal Navy say that The Plymouth-based frigate is enjoying six days at Harumi Wharf about three miles from the city centre.

“A large welcoming party from Japanese sailors greeted the Type 23, fresh from working with the US Navy on maritime security operations in the South China Sea, and Commanding Officer Commander Conor O’Neill thanked his hosts for their hospitality by handing over a mounted crest to the Port Authority.

Montrose follows her sister HMS Sutherland (last April), HMS Albion (last summer) and, most recently, HMS Argyll, in Tokyo over the New Year period. Like her predecessors she’s conducting exercises with Japan’s Maritime Self Defence Force – she’s berthed next to the destroyer Murasame at Harumi – and the US Navy’s Seventh Fleet, the latest workout involving the three allied navies. Such joint operations are intended to generally support peace in the western Pacific Rim and specifically to put pressure on North Korea and Pyongyang’s illegal nuclear programme.”

The Type 23 frigate is in the final stages of a journey to Bahrain where she’ll be based for up to three years, with crew being replaced every four months to sustain her long-term presence.

https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/hms-montrose-berths-in-tokyo/

HMSMontroseJapan.jpg

https://www.facebook.com/JMSDF.PAO.fp/posts/2239265506135155?__xts__[0]=68.ARDbFbG3B-sg4crqEOXXlwosfA-Ua95Xvm6ZTwwYMJW5phnq3mHgEXB1_wQpCl8snGoaS-x8bcLfHqMdjIDI-DGA7ji3Sf4GrhzwqiewYPkovlzn11muIs-CjqyN87N35_8qSc5v0-l1Ovx-O7ITrQE3prt0vBo02FOK98eWUBu_zhAK1b88DUB2cuTBIj6pcvwI87FFToDjpBEEkzS_RXK1OMUAva-o1V8NTY7j5cPKxy_2sWW9EAu-XGv_KJ3hX-iTbhqwq6CmDkGJpEu6oADHtF4lABZuEXFDaxfR_LOsx6IiY52LfYeyo5C5I2mOew_ojcO4CjmySA7GR8Ri0JMSVw&__tn__=-R

 

 

On the 14th and 15th of March, HMS Montrose conducted trilateral joint-training with the JMSDF (JS Murasame, a P-1, and a submarine) and the USN (a P-8A) in waters south of Honshu.

http://www.mod.go.jp/msdf/release/201903/20190312-01.pdf

 

 

 

YOKOSUKA, Japan – The Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, Royal Navy and U.S. Navy will come together for their second trilateral exercise, Mar. 14, in the Western Pacific.

Focused on anti-submarine warfare, a U.S. Navy P-8A maritime patrol aircraft from the “War Eagles” of Patrol Squadron (VP) 16 will participate in the drills.

"The Royal Navy, Japan Maritime Self Defense Force, and United States Navy all support a free and open Indo-Pacific,” said Capt. Brian Erickson, commander, Task Force Seven Two (CTF 72). “Exercises like this demonstrate our nation's resolve in the region, while improving interoperability, maintaining readiness, and learning best practices from one another.”

Joining the 7th Fleet aircraft are RN Type 23 frigate, HMS Montrose (F236), Murasame-class destroyer JS Murasame (DD-101), P-1 JMSDF maritime patrol aircraft, and a JMSDF submarine.

"The improvement of our tactical skillset is expected throughout this Trilateral EX,” said Cmdr. Shusaku Okada, Commanding Officer, JS Murasame. "I also hope that further cooperation be strengthened with the Royal Navy, the United States Navy, and the mutual understanding be deepened."

These exercises reflect a shared commitment to enhancing maritime cooperation since a 2016 trilateral summit attended by all three service chiefs at the Pentagon. While all three maritime services operate and train together during multilateral exercises like Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), this exercise is the second of its kind between them since the first one held in December 2018.

“HMS Montrose has been operating in the Pacific since December 2018, and our upcoming exercise with our allies in the USN and JMSDF will be one of the highlights of our time in this important region,” said Cmdr. Conor O’Neill, HMS Montrose commanding officer. "The Royal Navy has a long history of cooperation with both Japan and the United States, and we will all benefit a great deal from training together.”

U.S. 7th Fleet provides security alongside allies and partners throughout a free and open Indo-Pacific. As the U.S. Navy’s largest numbered fleet, 7th Fleet operates roughly 50-70 ships and submarines and 140 aircraft with approximately 20,000 Sailors.

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

https://www.c7f.navy.mil/Media/News/Display/Article/1782313/us-uk-japan-maritime-forces-practice-submarine-hunting/

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India and Russia sign $3 billion nuclear submarine lease agreement

 

Indian_Navys_TROPEX-2014_8-1000x610.jpg

Akula-Class nuclear attack submarine INS Chakra at exercise TROPEX in 2014. Image: Indian Navy

India has signed a $3 billion deal to lease a third Russian nuclear-powered submarine for 10 years, giving Delhi a boost in the Indian Ocean against arch-rivals Pakistan and China, media reports said.

The deal – which according to the Times of India took months to negotiate – comes as tensions run high between India and Pakistan following their biggest standoff in years, and as Chinese influence grows in the region.

A defense ministry spokesperson declined to confirm the agreement to AFP but the ToI said that the Akula-1 class submarine, the third India has leased from Russia, would be delivered by 2025.

This submarine will replace INS Chakra, the Akula class submarine that India leased from Russia in 2012.

Russia, India’s Cold War ally, remains a major supplier of arms to India, irking the United States which has imposed sanctions on nations buying military hardware from Moscow.

Last October Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met and inked a deal for Delhi to buy Russia’s S-400 surface-to-air missile defence system for $5.2 billion.

But India also shares U.S. fears about China’s growing assertiveness in the Indian Ocean, where New Delhi has traditionally held sway.

In 2017 India and China had a military standoff over a Himalayan plateau claimed by both Beijing and Bhutan, a close ally of India.

China has made inroads in Sri Lanka and Maldives, countries that India considers to be in its sphere of influence, through its Belt and Road Initiative.

Here is another article that gives some more detail, including US Congressional reactions. It makes clear the new leased Akula will replace the current INS Chakra II, which will presumably return to Russia for an upgrade to the standard that the Akula-II sub Vepr is currently being brought up to. The article does make the mistake of saying that the first INS Chakra was an Akula, when in fact she was a Charlie-class SSGN.

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Even though India maintains interest in military technology relation with Russia, India won't be able to count on Russia to counter China's influence in the Indian Ocean and close relation with Pakistan. So there's a hard limit in how far India would be willing to align with Russia. The big control to that is the degree close relation Russia has with China. It's similar with Vietnam. Vietnam is getting T-90s from Russia and training and technical support for the new Kilo submarines Vietnam got from Russia. Yet Russia generally backs China in China's claim on the South China Sea. So there's also a hard limit in how much Vietnam can count on Russia. In some way, it could be viewed that China would prefer Russia to not sell military tech to India and Vietnam. In the end Russia is going to prioritize sales that help its military industry. That plus Russian equipment is generally cheaper and Vietnam and India are still developing economies.

 

On the note of Vietnam, JS Setoyuki and JS Shimayuki visited Vietnam. About 390 personnel from both ships. They arrived at Da Nang on March 6th and will leave on March 9th. http://vovworld.vn/ja-JP/%E3%83%8B%E3%83%A5%E3%83%BC%E3%82%B9/%E6%97%A5%E6%9C%AC%E3%81%AE%E6%B5%B7%E4%B8%8A%E8%87%AA%E8%A1%9B%E9%9A%8A%E3%81%AE%E7%B7%B4%E7%BF%92%E8%89%A6%E3%82%BF%E3%83%8A%E3%83%B3%E3%81%AB%E5%AF%84%E6%B8%AF-729486.vov

inVietnam2.jpg

https://www.facebook.com/JMSDF.PAO.fp/posts/2230116067050099

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NTC 19-04

 

 

 

FORT IRWIN, CA, UNITED STATES
02.22.2019
Story by Pfc. Andrew R Bray
III MEF Information Group
Subscribe 13

U.S. Marines with 1st Brigade, 5th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, III Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group worked with the U.S. Army 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force 72nd Tank Regiment at the National Training Center, Rotation 19-04 at Fort Irwin, California Feb. 9-22.

The exercises focused on improving fighting capabilities against a conventional force by a force-on-force section and a live fire section.

The force-on-force portion consisted of an opposing force made up of U.S. Army soldiers stationed at Fort Irwin who were to fight the JGSDF 72nd Tank Regiment and 1st Stryker Brigade with 1st Brigade, 5th ANGLICO providing fire support coordination.

About two weeks prior to the actual field exercise, ANGLICO traveled to Fort Irwin from Okinawa and prepared. The Marines readied gear, planned, and practiced the skills they would be needing for the exercise. They were shown the equipment the friendly Japanese forces used and the equipment that the opposing force was using as well.

On Feb. 8, the Marines headed to the field to begin the force-on-force portion of the exercise. They split up into several different groups with different roles to fill.

Three firepower control teams worked towards the front of the conflict. FCT 1 spent the majority of the exercise at two observation points, gathering and communicating target information to friendly forces. FCT 2 worked with the JGSDF tanks and FCT 3 worked with the Army Strykers. FCT 2 and 3 worked at the front, observing and informing their armor units of potential targets and threats.

The remaining Marines, the supporting arms liaison team and brigade, were at the rear. They played a supporting role providing information and communication abilities to the forward elements. During this time, multiple integrated laser engagement systems were used to determine the elimination of assets on the both sides.

On Feb. 17, the force-on-force section of the exercise was concluded and the live fire began. The live fire allowed artillery and mortar crews to practice with live rounds to eliminate plywood targets.

During this time ANGLICO provided support for Japanese 120mm mortars and Army 155mm Howitzers. ANGLICO Marines informed the Japanese and Army where their rounds were impacting. The live fire portion of the exercise lasted until Feb. 22, when NTC Rotation 19-04 was concluded.

Cpl. Kevin Hackman, a fire support Marine with 1st Brigade, 5th ANGLICO, III Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group, said that coordinating and training with different nations is particularly important to the Marine Corps because it is an expeditionary force. The Marine Corps needs to be ready to fight anywhere in the world, and having those relationships built and having the familiarity with working with foreign nations is important to operating effectively overseas.

https://www.dvidshub.net/news/313456/us-marines-soldiers-and-japanese-forces-train-live-together-national-training-center-california

 

ntc1.jpg

 

 

U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Fort Wainwright, Alaska, prepare to enter an enemy-occupied compound while assaulting an urban objective during Decisive Action Rotation 19-04 at the National Training Center (NTC), Fort Irwin, Calif., Feb. 15, 2019. Decisive Action Rotations at the NTC ensure Army Brigade Combat Teams remain versatile, responsive, and consistently available for current and future contingencies. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Kamryn Guthrie, Operations Group, National Training Center)

https://www.dvidshub.net/image/5151546/seize-urban-city

A couple of more in the spoiler

 

ntc2.jpg

 

 

U.S. Army M1126 Strykers assigned to 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Fort Wainwright, Alaska, maneuver through the desert terrain towards an objective during Decisive Action Rotation 19-04 at the National Training Center (NTC), Fort Irwin, Calif., Feb 9, 2019. Decisive Action Rotations at NTC ensures Army Brigade Combat Teams remain versatile, responsive, and consistently available for current and future contingencies. (U.S. Army photo by Pvt. Brooke Davis, Operations Group, National Training Center)

https://www.dvidshub.net/image/5151567/stryker

 

ntc3.jpg

 

 

U.S. Marines familiarize themselves with a Japanese Type 87 self-propelled anti-aircraft gun at Fort Irwin, California, on Jan. 29, 2019. Soldiers with the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force 72nd Tank Regiment informed Marines with 1st Brigade, 5th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, III Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group of their vehicles’ capabilities to improve interoperability and proficiency between the two forces. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Andrew R. Bray)

 

 

 

JGSDF promo video of the exercise which included a lot of the vehicle type inventory from the JGSDF 72nd Tank regiment.

http://www.mod.go.jp/gsdf/news/train/2019/20190315.html

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46502835711_2706297d73_k%2B%25281%2529.j

 

 

 

Am I the only one here who did a "double take" looking at that picture. It looks like at least one of the vessels just slipped through a 50 year time warp.

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Am I the only one here who did a "double take" looking at that picture. It looks like at least one of the vessels just slipped through a 50 year time warp.

 

 

Although the old one has something going for it called BrahMos.

1280px-INS_Rajput_firing_a_BrahMos_missi

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India's relations with Russia extend deeply back to the Cold War 1970s era when they were de facto allies against China and the United States. The main limit on what Russian technology is made available to India and Indians appears to be how much New Delhi is willing to pay.

 

Russian tilt towards China is in return for China's support for Russia in Ukraine.

To Putin and Xi there are no allies only interests. Perfect example of Realpolitik.

 

The optics of Abe's recent visit to Beijing indicate that Russia, China, and, to a lesser extent, South Korea, are not the only nations in the region able and willing to play the realpolitik card in various ways.

Edited by Nobu
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On March 4th, a B-52 flew around Japan, training with the JASDF, while another B-52 went to the SCS.

 

 

A U.S. B-52 bomber was sent near disputed islands in the South China Sea and another circumnavigated Japan, conducting joint military exercises with the Air Self-Defense Force, the U.S. Pacific Air Forces said Wednesday.

Monday’s mission in the contested South China Sea was the first reported flight in the area by a B-52 since November.

The Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) said that the two B-52s had taken off from Andersen Air Force Base on the U.S. island territory of Guam, and participated in “routine training missions.”

“One bomber conducted training in the vicinity of the South China Sea before returning to Guam, while the other conducted training in the vicinity of Japan in coordination with the U.S. Navy and alongside our Japanese air force counterparts before returning to Guam,” the PACAF said in a statement.

Aircraft Spots, a Twitter account tracking movements of military aircraft, showed one B-52 as having flown near Scarborough Shoal, a disputed uninhabited reef that Beijing calls Huangyan Island.

The shoal, which is also claimed by Taipei and Manila and sits just 230 km (140 miles) from the Philippine coast, has long been a subject of speculation amid Beijing’s massive land-reclamation projects in the South China Sea. Some experts believe China may seek to fortify the shoal as part of a bid to cement control of the strategic waterway.

The B-52 aircraft involved in the mission were part of the U.S. Air Force’s “continuous bomber presence” based in Guam. Since 2004, the U.S. has rotated B-1, B-52 and B-2 long-range bombers out of Guam to conduct training missions in Asia.

Akin to the U.S. Navy’s so-called freedom of navigation operations, in which it has sailed warships near disputed islands claimed by China in the South China Sea, the air force missions are intended to assert that the area is international airspace as well.

Beijing has built up a series of military outposts in the South China Sea, which includes vital sea lanes through which about $3 trillion in global trade passes each year.

Washington and Beijing have frequently jousted over the militarization of the South China Sea, where China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines all have competing claims.

The U.S. does not maintain any claims there, but says the operations are conducted globally with the aim of promoting freedom of navigation.

China effectively seized Scarborough Shoal — a prime fishing spot — from the Philippines in 2012 after a tense standoff. In the wake of this, and a 2016 ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration that invalidated China’s claim of sovereignty over much of the South China Sea, the coral outcrop has become synonymous with the regional power struggle in the waterway.

In January last year, the U.S. sent a guided-missile destroyer to within 12 nautical miles (22 km) of the shoal, stoking anger from China.

U.S. Indo-Pacific commander Adm. Philip Davidson said in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee last month that China also continues to intimidate Filipino fishermen in the area of Scarborough Shoal.

“Chinese Coast Guard vessels now fall under the command of the Central Military Commission and regularly harass and intimidate fishing vessels from our treaty ally, the Philippines, operating near Scarborough reef, as well as the fishing fleets of other regional nations,” Davidson said.

A separate posting by the Aircraft Spots Twitter account showed that the exercise took one of the bombers over the East China Sea and the Sea of Japan, with the aircraft flying around Japan.

The U.S. Air Force sent two B-52s over the East China Sea in January for “routine training” near Okinawa Prefecture.

The U.S. and Japanese forces regularly conduct exercises in the East China Sea — home to the Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands — and Beijing, which also claims the islets and calls them the Diaoyu, often dispatches government ships and aircraft to the area surrounding them.

In November 2013, China declared an air defense identification zone, in which aircraft are supposed to identify themselves to Chinese authorities, in the East China Sea. The United States and Japan have refused to recognize the ADIZ, and many observers have viewed it as an attempt by China to bolster its claims over disputed territories, like the uninhabited Senkakus.

Beijing said in 2017 that Washington should respect the ADIZ after Chinese officials warned a U.S. bomber that it was illegally flying inside the East China Sea zone. The Pentagon rejected the Chinese call and said it would continue its flight operations in the region.

The United States is obligated to defend aggression against territories under Japanese administration under Article 5 of the U.S.-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, and top U.S. officials have said this extends to the Senkakus.

 

Training missions such as Monday’s have appeared to gain more publicity amid protracted military and trade tensions between Washington and Beijing.

 

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/03/06/asia-pacific/u-s-sends-b-52s-missions-disputed-south-east-china-seas-around-japan/#.XJYcsSIzbcs

 

On March 19th, two B-52s went to the East China Sea and trained with the JASDF and USN. Same day when two Y-9s flew into the East China Sea.

 

 

Two B-52 bombers flew over the East China Sea Tuesday during joint training with the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and the U.S. Navy, the Air Force said.

The B-52H Stratofortresses took off from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, and conducted “integration training” that also included F-15C Eagle fighter jets assigned to the 18th Wing at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, U.S. Pacific Air Forces said in a statement.

The bombers returned to Guam after the flight, the Air Force said.

The U.S. has been flying bombers out of Guam throughout the region for more than a decade as part of the Air Force’s “continuous bomber” presence.

Bomber flights and other training involving the East China and South China seas frequently raise ire in Beijing, which is a claimant over disputed sovereignty of islands in both seas.

 

https://www.stripes.com/news/pacific/b-52-bombers-train-with-japanese-us-fighter-jets-over-east-china-sea-1.573763

Edited by JasonJ
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24 F-22 Raptors Do The "Elephant Walk" In Alaska To Tout Their Readiness To Fight (Updated)

 

D2pqps2WkAAPyML.jpg

 

As the USAF realigns its strategy towards "great power competition" with potential peer state enemies like Russia and China, high-profile displays of readiness among its combat aircraft fleets are becoming far more common than they were in the past. This time around, 3rd Wing based at Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage, Alaska showed off its might by concurrently generating a whopping 24 stealthy F-22 Raptors, an E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning And Control System aircraft, and a C-17 Globemaster III cargo jet—all of which call the base home.

 

The 3rd Wing's "elephant walk," which occurred on March 26th, 2019, is uniquely important as the aircraft and airmen that make up the Wing would be among the first to rush to a crisis zone in the Pacific region. On top of that, the F-22s and E-3s based at Elmendorf AFB are the tip of America's air defense spear for a huge block of airspace that backs up right against Russia's own territory and the increasingly strategic Arctic region.

 

24 hours a day and 365 days a year, within a matter of minutes from when the klaxon sounds, a pair of fully armed and tanked-up F-22s can be scrambled into the air and race towards potential threats operating near U.S. airspace. Often times, a fully crewed E-3 follows right behind them. This happens far more often than most realize in an age of resurgent Russian long-range aviation forces. Russian strategic bombers, tankers, early warning and spy aircraft, and even escorting fighters are common visitors to the airspace off Alaska's frigid shores.

 

On a larger scale, during a big emergency or contingency operation, the airman at Elmendorf AFB may be tasked with generating as many Raptor sorties as possible in a minimal amount of time. So this elephant walk isn't just a grand photo op, it is an opportunity for high-tempo training and internal evaluation.

 

Photo was linked from here.

Edited by Dark_Falcon
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Exercise Salaknib by the Philippines and US was carried out from March 4th to the 24th and involved a total of 1600 personnel from both sides and was carried out at several locations in Luzon. They trained in jungle field, command post, exchanges, health related, and humanitarian.

 

 

MANILA -- Five activities will be the focus of this year's "Salaknib" exercises between American and Filipino military units, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief, Col. Noel Detoyato said Thursday.

These include Jungle Field Training Exercise (FTX), Command Post Exercise (CPX), Subject Matter Expert Exchanges (SMEEs), Cooperative Health Engagements (CHE), and Humanitarian Civic Action (HCA) projects.

Salaknib, an Ilokano word, means shield.

In a message to the Philippine News Agency, the AFP official bared that all exercises will be held at Fort Magsaysay, Palayan, Nueva Ecija and Col. Ernesto Rabina Air Base, Capas, Tarlac.

The opening ceremony was held at Fort Magsaysay on Wednesday (Feb. 27), he said.

In an advisory, the United States Embassy in Manila said "Salaknib" exercises will be conducted from March 4 to 24.

Salaknib started way back in 2015 as a bilateral exercise activity facilitated by the Philippine Army (PA) and US Army first held between 3rd Infantry Battalion and its American counterparts.

It eventually evolved into an Army Training Exchange between the PA and US Army Pacific Command (USARPAC) which focused on enhancing the skill competencies of both armies in the conduct of field specialization.

"For this year's 'Salaknib' exercise, the Philippine Army contingent will be the newly organized 1st Brigade Combat Team (1BCT) while for the USARPAC will be the 520(th) Infantry Striker Battalion," Detoyato said. (PNA)

 

 

http://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1063158

 

 

More than 1,600 soldiers from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the US Army will participate in an annual bilateral exercise aimed to enhance their readiness and tactical interoperability while strengthening multinational relationship.

The Exercise Salaknib 2019 will take place in Fort Magsaysay, Palayan, and Nueva Ecija from March 4 to 24.

The US Army’s 7th Infantry Division Commander, Maj. Gen. Willard M. Burleson 3rd, and Philippine Army 7th Infantry Division Acting Commander Brig. Gen. Lenard
Agustin presided over the opening ceremony on February 27.

The exercise will consist of jungle field training, bilateral Command Post exercise, exchanges on various matters, cooperative health engagements and humanitarian civic action projects.

It will also give a venue for the exchange tactics, techniques and procedures for humanitarian assistance disaster relief operations as a way of showing the allied support of the US and the Philippines.

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo recently said that the US will defend Manila if the Philippines is attacked in the West Philippine Sea.

 

https://www.manilatimes.net/1600-ph-us-soldiers-join-military-exercise/519827/

 

Exercise Balikatan is getting underway between the Philippines (4,000 personnel), the US (3,500) , and a small dispatch from Australia (50). Will include USS Wasp and her F-35Bs. The exercise will go from April 1st to April 12th and take place in Luzon, Palawan, and Mindoro.

 

 

About 4,000 Philippine troops, 3,500 American soldiers, and 50 Austra­lian Defence Force (ADF) members will participate in the biggest annual military exercise between the United States and the Philippines known as “Balikatan” which opens Monday at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Y. Kim will be the guest of honor and speaker in the opening ceremony to be attended by high-ranking officials from both the Philippines and the US.

Also expected to attend the open­ing ceremony to be held at the Tejeros Hall, AFP Commissioned Officers Club, Camp Aguinaldo, are Philippine Defense Undersecretary Car­dozo Luna who will represent Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Benjamin Madrigal Jr.

Lt. Gen. Gilbert I. Gapay, the AFP’s Southern Luzon Command (SoLCom) Chief is the Exercise Director for the Philippine side, while Brigadier General Chris McPhillips, the Commanding General of the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, is the Exercise Director for the US side.

Balikatan 2019, the 35th iteration of the annual military drill, is a Tagalog phrase for “shoulder-to-shoulder” which characterizes the spirit of the exercise and represents the partnership between the US and the Philippines.

Throughout Exercise Balikatan, the AFP, US Armed Forces, and ADF will carry out information exchanges and live training events. These are aimed at enhancing the militaries’ interoperability during the planning and execution of joint operations to advance security and stabil­ity in the Indo-Pacific region.

During Balikatan 2019, American and Philippine forces will conduct amphibious operations, live-fire training, urban opera­tions, aviation operations, and counterter­rorism response.

All events will take place in Luzon, Palawan, and Mindoro until April 12, 2019.

New US fighter jets

According to US Balikatan organiz­ers, this is the first time that new and more sophisticated fighter jets from the United States will be used during this year’s exercises.

“This will be the first Exercise Balika­tan to incorporate the USS Wasp paired with the United States Marines Corps’ F-35B Lightning II aircraft. Together they represent an increase in military capability committed to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the US Balikatan organiz­ers disclosed.

USS Wasp (LHD-1) is a United States Navy multipurpose amphibious assault ship, and the lead ship of her class. She is the tenth USN vessel to bear the name since 1775, with the last two ships named Wasp being aircraft carriers. She was built by the Ingalls Shipbuilding division of Lit­ton in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

The F-35B Lightning II multi-role fighter is a family of single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multirole fighters. The fifth-generation combat aircraft is designed to perform ground-attack and air-superiority missions. It has three main models: The F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant, the F-35B short take-off and vertical-landing (STOVL) variant, and the F-35C carrier-based catapult-assisted take-off but ar­rested recovery (CATOBAR) variant.

The US Balikatan organizers said participating in Balikatan demonstrates their ability to forward deploy in support of an ally should a crisis or natural disaster occurs.

Balikatan 2019 will also bring together Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members for an International Observers Program. The program aims to promote greater defense cooperation with ASEAN and other key allies and partners, show multinational coordina­tion where the observers can mutu­ally exchange meaningful ideas and best practices, and showcase the joint and combined air, sea, and ground operation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and US Armed Forces.

 

This year’s Balikatan focuses on mari­time security and amphibious capabilities, as well as multinational interoperability through military exchanges.

“Exercises like Balikatan strengthen international partnerships and the par­ticipating militaries’ abilities to rapidly respond to crises throughout the Indo-Pacific region,” the Balikatan organizers said.

The AFP Northern Luzon Command will exercise command, control, and supervision in implementing the rules and regulations for visiting forces as well as monitor all BK35-2019 training events which will be conducted on its area of responsibility.

Major Erickson C. Bulosan, Public Information Office Chief of NoLCom, earlier said several activities are included in this year’s Balikatan like the Staff Exer­cise (STAFFEX), Joint Inter-Operability Event (JIOE), Combined Inter Operabil­ity Event (CIOE), and the Humanitarian and Civic Assistance (HCA).

Bulosan said the AFP aims to strengthen the long-standing relationship between the PH-US through exercises and operational cooperation for mutual benefit of involved forces.

They will also ensure the safe and successful conduct of PH-US Balikatan 35-2019, together and in coordination with all stakeholders in different sites within Northern Luzon Command area of responsibility.

Prior to the opening of the exercises, Filipino, American and Australian forces started conducting humanitarian and civic assistance activities in Luzon as part of this year’s Philippines-United States Balikatan Exercises.

Personnel from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), United States Armed Forces, and Australian Defense Force (ADF), all under the ambit of the US alliance, began their Engineering Civic Action Program last March 12, in Tarlac, Batangas, Laguna, and Bataan.

The AFP said the program seeks to construct medical facility and classroom buildings in selected communities in the areas.

The beneficiaries of the class room buildings are the Don Eulogio Luistro Elementary School in Bulsa, San Juan, Batangas; Victor De Guia Elementary School in Balian, Pangil, Laguna; and Pag-Asa Elementary School in Orani, Bataan Province. The local government of Brgy. San Pedro in Moncada, Tarlac will receive a one-story medical clinic.

Medical teams have also been de­ployed to conduct health engagements in the areas. Communities will benefit from free consultations, hygiene kits distribu­tion, feeding program, and veterinary care. The teams will also share informa­tion on family planning, health, environ­ment protection, and disaster prepared­ness.

 

https://news.mb.com.ph/2019/03/31/35th-ph-us-balikatan-exercise-opens-monday/

 

The Philippines received first batch of Huey spare parts from Japan on March 20th. Next batch of parts to be delivered in August.

 

 

Japan turned over Utility Helicopter 1 (UH-1) spare parts to the Philippine Air Force (PAF) on Tuesday in Pampanga.

The acceptance, turnover and blessing of the spare parts were done at Haribon Hangar in Clark Air Base.

The formal signing of the donation was completed last week at the Japan Ministry of Defense Facility with Undersecretary Raymundo Elefante as the representative of the Philippine government, accompanied by Lt. Gen. Rozzano Briguez, PAF commander, as witness.

Japan donated an initial set of spare parts last week when PAF officials visited Iruma Air Base in Saitama, Japan. The initial spare parts, weighing 16,187.60 lbs., cost 424 million yen (P200 millon).

The total cost of spare parts that Japan will donate to the PAF is approximately 5.4 billion yen (P2.5 billion), covering different systems such as the airframe structure, dynamic power system, control system, rotor system, hydraulic system, electrical system, instrument system and accessory items.

The remaining spare parts are scheduled for shipment to the Philippines in August 2019 through a Philippine navy vessel.

 

 

https://www.manilatimes.net/japan-govt-donates-chopper-spare-parts/528172/

Edited by JasonJ
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Exercise Diamond Shield 2019 - Various RAAF aircraft train with USAF Aggressors and other aircraft. The exercise went from March 4th until march 29th at RAAF bases Williamtown and Amberley.

 

 

 

Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Exercise Diamond Shield is currently being held off Australia’s east coast with United States Air Force (USAF) F-16s participating as aggressors.

Conducted from RAAF Base Williamtown and RAAF Base Amberley, Exercise Diamond Shield includes aircraft and personnel from Australia and the United States.

This includes United States Air Force (USA) F-16s that are acting as aggressors in the exercise, as they did in the inaugural Exercise Diamond Shield in 2017.

USAF aircraft have arrived from its 18th Aggressor Squadron, 765th Air Refuelling Squadron and 23rd Bomber Squadron. Apart from the F-16s, other USAF aircraft include the KC-135 Air refueller and B-52, the Defence said in a statement on March 4.

Meanwhile, Defence said the RAAF had sent F/A-18A Hornet, F/A-18F Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler, Hawk 127, AP-3C Orion, P-8A Poseidon, C-17A Globemaster, KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport, E-7A Wedgetail and C-130J Hercules to Exercise Diamond Shield.

Exercise Diamond Shield is part of the RAAF’s Air Warfare Instructors Course (AWIC) alongside Exercise Diamond Seas, which was held earlier in 2019, and Exercise Diamond Storm.

As the RAAF website explained, AWIC integrated warfighting functions across a range of specialisations to develop expert air warfare instructors across the air combat spectrum.

Exercise Director Group Captain Matthew McCormack said the course involved complex war-like scenarios where students would be able to put their newly developed skills into practice and make decisions that would shape the way the RAAF fought in the future.

“As ADF platforms interact, electronically, so too must the human elements interact more closely to get the greatest benefit from this technology,” GPCAPT Matthew McCormack said in the March 4 Defence statement.

“AWIC has done that and each component of the course has prepared the instructors to be more effective in the integrated Air Warfare space.

“Graduates will provide leadership in the development of future tactics and help determine how those tactics can be used to enhance the ADF’s joint warfighting capability using fifth-generation capabilities.”

Exercise Diamond Shield runs until March 29 2019.

redf16.jpeg

https://australianaviation.com.au/2019/03/usaf-f-16-aggressors-part-of-raaf-exercise-diamond-shield/

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

 

Japan launches second Maya-class destroyer

 

p1748675_main.jpg

 

Shipbuilding company Japan Marine United (JMU) Corporation launched the second of two Maya (Improved Atago)-class destroyers on order for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) on 17 July.

Named Haguro (pennant number 180), the 170 m-long vessel entered the water in a ceremony held at JMU's facility in Yokohama City, and is expected to be commissioned in March 2021.

The destroyer, which will be the eighth JMSDF ship to be equipped with the Aegis Combat System, is 5 m longer than the Atago-class destroyers operated by the JMSDF.

Haguro will use the Aegis Baseline J7 supported by the Lockheed Martin/Raytheon AN/SPY-1D(V) phased array radar and the Northrop Grumman AN/SPQ-9B X-band (NATO I-band) (8-12.5 GHz) high-resolution fire-control radar.

The ship, which cost about JPY173.4 billion (USD1.6 billion) to build, will be equipped with the US-developed Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) system, which will enable the destroyer to act as part of a wider 'grid' of sensors and weapon platforms that allow other CEC-equipped ships to share surveillance and targeting information.

The JMSDF also plans to provide first-of-class Maya , which was launched on 30 July 2018 and is expected to enter service in March 2020, with this capability to better counter threats such as those posed by North Korean ballistic missiles.

The Maya class has a standard displacement of 8,200 tonnes, which is 450 tonnes more than the Atago-class ships. Powered by two General Electric LM2500 gas turbines in a combined gas turbine-electric and gas turbine (COGLAG) configuration, each of these platforms can reach a top speed of 30 kt, according to JMU.

The destroyers, each of which has a crew of about 300, are also equipped with multifunction towed array (MFTA) sonar systems and electronic warfare (EW) capabilities.

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Japan launches second Maya-class destroyer

 

p1748675_main.jpg

 

Shipbuilding company Japan Marine United (JMU) Corporation launched the second of two Maya (Improved Atago)-class destroyers on order for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) on 17 July.

Named Haguro (pennant number 180), the 170 m-long vessel entered the water in a ceremony held at JMU's facility in Yokohama City, and is expected to be commissioned in March 2021.

The destroyer, which will be the eighth JMSDF ship to be equipped with the Aegis Combat System, is 5 m longer than the Atago-class destroyers operated by the JMSDF.

Haguro will use the Aegis Baseline J7 supported by the Lockheed Martin/Raytheon AN/SPY-1D(V) phased array radar and the Northrop Grumman AN/SPQ-9B X-band (NATO I-band) (8-12.5 GHz) high-resolution fire-control radar.

The ship, which cost about JPY173.4 billion (USD1.6 billion) to build, will be equipped with the US-developed Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) system, which will enable the destroyer to act as part of a wider 'grid' of sensors and weapon platforms that allow other CEC-equipped ships to share surveillance and targeting information.

The JMSDF also plans to provide first-of-class Maya , which was launched on 30 July 2018 and is expected to enter service in March 2020, with this capability to better counter threats such as those posed by North Korean ballistic missiles.

The Maya class has a standard displacement of 8,200 tonnes, which is 450 tonnes more than the Atago-class ships. Powered by two General Electric LM2500 gas turbines in a combined gas turbine-electric and gas turbine (COGLAG) configuration, each of these platforms can reach a top speed of 30 kt, according to JMU.

The destroyers, each of which has a crew of about 300, are also equipped with multifunction towed array (MFTA) sonar systems and electronic warfare (EW) capabilities.

 

 

Just in time for the announcement of South Korean plans to build light carriers more than double the displacement of their Dokdo class amphibious assault ships.

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USS America and JS Akebono sailing in the East China Sea on April 10th.

AmericaAkebono1.jpg

 

 

200410-N-DB724-2392 EAST CHINA SEA (April 10, 2020) Amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) launches an F-35B Lightning II assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, Marine Medium Tiltrotor (VMM) 265 (Reinforced) while sailing in formation with Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force JS Akebono (DD 108). America, flagship of the America Expeditionary Strike Group, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit team, is operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with allies and partners and serve as a ready response force to defend peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jomark A. Almazan)

https://www.dvidshub.net/image/6170220/america-akebono-sail-together-east-china-sea

 

AmericaAkebono2.jpg

 

 

200410-N-BT681-4143 EAST CHINA SEA (April 10, 2020) Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer JS Akebono (DD 108) sails next to amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6). America, flagship of the America Expeditionary Strike Group, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit team, is operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with allies and partners and serve as a ready response force to defend peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jonathan Berlier)
https://www.dvidshub.net/image/6170299/america-akebono-sail-together-east-china-sea
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NTC 19-04

 

 

 

FORT IRWIN, CA, UNITED STATES

02.22.2019

Story by Pfc. Andrew R Bray

III MEF Information Group

Subscribe 13

 

U.S. Marines with 1st Brigade, 5th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, III Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group worked with the U.S. Army 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force 72nd Tank Regiment at the National Training Center, Rotation 19-04 at Fort Irwin, California Feb. 9-22.

 

The exercises focused on improving fighting capabilities against a conventional force by a force-on-force section and a live fire section.

 

The force-on-force portion consisted of an opposing force made up of U.S. Army soldiers stationed at Fort Irwin who were to fight the JGSDF 72nd Tank Regiment and 1st Stryker Brigade with 1st Brigade, 5th ANGLICO providing fire support coordination.

 

About two weeks prior to the actual field exercise, ANGLICO traveled to Fort Irwin from Okinawa and prepared. The Marines readied gear, planned, and practiced the skills they would be needing for the exercise. They were shown the equipment the friendly Japanese forces used and the equipment that the opposing force was using as well.

 

On Feb. 8, the Marines headed to the field to begin the force-on-force portion of the exercise. They split up into several different groups with different roles to fill.

 

Three firepower control teams worked towards the front of the conflict. FCT 1 spent the majority of the exercise at two observation points, gathering and communicating target information to friendly forces. FCT 2 worked with the JGSDF tanks and FCT 3 worked with the Army Strykers. FCT 2 and 3 worked at the front, observing and informing their armor units of potential targets and threats.

 

The remaining Marines, the supporting arms liaison team and brigade, were at the rear. They played a supporting role providing information and communication abilities to the forward elements. During this time, multiple integrated laser engagement systems were used to determine the elimination of assets on the both sides.

 

On Feb. 17, the force-on-force section of the exercise was concluded and the live fire began. The live fire allowed artillery and mortar crews to practice with live rounds to eliminate plywood targets.

 

During this time ANGLICO provided support for Japanese 120mm mortars and Army 155mm Howitzers. ANGLICO Marines informed the Japanese and Army where their rounds were impacting. The live fire portion of the exercise lasted until Feb. 22, when NTC Rotation 19-04 was concluded.

 

Cpl. Kevin Hackman, a fire support Marine with 1st Brigade, 5th ANGLICO, III Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group, said that coordinating and training with different nations is particularly important to the Marine Corps because it is an expeditionary force. The Marine Corps needs to be ready to fight anywhere in the world, and having those relationships built and having the familiarity with working with foreign nations is important to operating effectively overseas.

https://www.dvidshub.net/news/313456/us-marines-soldiers-and-japanese-forces-train-live-together-national-training-center-california

 

ntc1.jpg

 

 

U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Fort Wainwright, Alaska, prepare to enter an enemy-occupied compound while assaulting an urban objective during Decisive Action Rotation 19-04 at the National Training Center (NTC), Fort Irwin, Calif., Feb. 15, 2019. Decisive Action Rotations at the NTC ensure Army Brigade Combat Teams remain versatile, responsive, and consistently available for current and future contingencies. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Kamryn Guthrie, Operations Group, National Training Center)

https://www.dvidshub.net/image/5151546/seize-urban-city

A couple of more in the spoiler

 

ntc2.jpg

 

 

U.S. Army M1126 Strykers assigned to 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Fort Wainwright, Alaska, maneuver through the desert terrain towards an objective during Decisive Action Rotation 19-04 at the National Training Center (NTC), Fort Irwin, Calif., Feb 9, 2019. Decisive Action Rotations at NTC ensures Army Brigade Combat Teams remain versatile, responsive, and consistently available for current and future contingencies. (U.S. Army photo by Pvt. Brooke Davis, Operations Group, National Training Center)

https://www.dvidshub.net/image/5151567/stryker

 

ntc3.jpg

 

 

U.S. Marines familiarize themselves with a Japanese Type 87 self-propelled anti-aircraft gun at Fort Irwin, California, on Jan. 29, 2019. Soldiers with the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force 72nd Tank Regiment informed Marines with 1st Brigade, 5th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, III Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group of their vehicles’ capabilities to improve interoperability and proficiency between the two forces. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Andrew R. Bray)

 

 

 

JGSDF promo video of the exercise which included a lot of the vehicle type inventory from the JGSDF 72nd Tank regiment.

http://www.mod.go.jp/gsdf/news/train/2019/20190315.html

 

There was a 50 minute NHK documentary recently, on March 28th, about this training exercise.

 

The NHK approach is a bit hyper sensitive (as usual) so includes parts about the passing of defense laws 5 years ago and goes light on the security environment, to which it got lots of "NHK is anti-Japan" "no mention of China" in the comment section from other videos about the documentary such as this one. I think it was a little more balanced then that but I also think the documentary was made with the military ill-literate in Japan in mind as well so was very careful in approach.

 

But besides that, lots of footage.

 

0:00-5:10 Intro of the show and JGSDF heading out to California.

 

5:10-11:25 Intro of the US training center itself and the kind of training that goes on there.

 

11:25-13:29 JGSDF 72nd Tank regiment arrives at the center in January 2019. At 12:13 was back in November 2018 where the unit was being told about heading out to NTC.

 

13:29-15:45 Live fire with Type 90s while advancing towards a target area.

 

15:45-41-50 Mock battle with the Alaska 25th Infantry Division, 1st Striker Brigade Battle Group.

 

16:50 describes fantasy enemy country advances and occupies town called "Rejishu". Goal of US forces to recapture the town. The JGSDF tank regiment unit was to approach from one side to augment the US attack. Reconnaissance is sent out at 17:45. Around 5 personnel of the enemy on other side of the slope at 18:13.

 

18:36 Day 2 of the mock battle. Call to infantry that arty fire is incoming. So they fall back. The Japanese unit took heavy damage from the arty strike. The referee gave points afterwards which was that an enemy helicopter flew by and destroyed one of the Japanese vehicles but the Japanese unit remained in position for about 45 minutes not doing much, problem point being ineffective instructions from senior officers.

 

20:38-24:35 Day 6 of the mock battle. The US forces had retaken two positions from the fantasy enemy country and eliminated one of their forward units and are now pushing towards the goal of recapturing Rejishu. Upon reaching the edge of the town, no counter fire from the enemy. Town is silent at first but then open fire. US infantry go house to house clearing it up. During this time, the Japanese tank regiment unit was in position keeping watch for possible enemy movement towards the Rejishu.

 

24:35-33:44 blah blah stuff. The JSDF officer being interviewed says its good to have chance to practice at NTC for new environment experience and that the Japanese unit trained under a separate chain of command with the US forces going into the fantasy town while the Japanese unit was separate but close in support role. Then it goes into risk of getting entangled in a Middle East conflict showing scenes of the JSDF dispatch in Iraq in 2003, and the anti "war laws" demonstrations when the new defense bills were being passed, etc. Then to the painted rocks at NTC withrocks from participants from other countries such as the UK, Canada, UEA, etc. But then interview with Yanagisawa Kyoji who was talking about the risk of getting entangled in war. If you shoot, they shoot back, etc. Looked him up, surprise surprise, he was against Abe's reinterpretation of the constitution and against Japan entering into "collective self-defense" back in 2014. Then the journalists is in from of a Type 90 saying that it was developed as a response to the SU but with the SU collapsed, the number of tanks has been decreasing. These are the tanks participating in the training. So after all that blah blah, NHK failed to present anything about the South China Sea, North Korea, etc., which could validate the views in favor of "collective self-defense". There was nothing about Iran and Japan's oil supply either, even if the topic about sending forces into the ME requires very careful decision making. Hence the comments like"NHK is anti-Japan" Anyway..

 

33:44-37:16 back to the mock battle, still Day 6. As the Japanese tank unit was in position keeping watch, 6 tanks were knocked out by ATGMs. Comments from the Type 90 tankers is that the environment is so spacious and open so its totally different then the hilly terrain that they were used to in Hokkaido. The referee said that all the tanks were too tight in a group.

 

Another break from the mock battle, talking about ATGMs and guerrilla warfare. But the role of the tank is reinforced with all terrain mobility, precision fire power, armor, etc in the blah blah.

 

39:40-41:50 back to the mock battle. A group of AFVs consisting of 28 vehicles from fantasy enemy country broke through the line of the US forces assaulting Rejishu. So it was time for the Type 90s to support. 10 Type 90s vs the 28 AFVs. Result was one after another, the AFVs being knocked out and thus they retreated. But 9 Type 90s were knocked. One Type 90 crew says he knocked out 7 AFVs.

 

41:50-47:20 So to more blah blah, first person is Taura Masato who has served in the Iraq dispatch said JSDF personnel do not take the idea of being dispatched to somewhere as wanting to go or as not wanting to go but as professionals that they must prepare to go if called to go. Also that by sending actual tanks to the US for joint-training shows how deep the US-Japan alliance is and that adds to deterrence. Then its back to Yanagisawa Kyoji saying that if you shoot with a weapon at one side then they will shoot back so is that called security? If Japan with strict self-defense goes with the US which does not have strict self-defense, then the strict self-defense policy of Japan crumbles.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kI4yeBaP7l0

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On February 4th, 2020, twenty-eight F-15Js, thirteen F-2s, and four F-4s for a total of forty-five fighters from the JASDF conducted joint-training with two B-52s and six F-16s of the USAF in the airspace around Japan. The two B-52s and 13 F-2s conducted simulated strikes with the F-16s providing escort.

Feb6jpusa.jpg

https://www.mod.go.jp/asdf/news/houdou/H31/20200206.pdf

 

 

 

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- U.S. Air Force aircraft from the Pacific theater and the continental United States integrated with the Koku Jieitai (Japan Air Self Defense Force or JASDF) to conduct bilateral and theater familiarization training near Japan Feb. 3.

A U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress bomber from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, flew north to join one B-52H from Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, in the vicinity of Misawa Air Base, Japan, as part of a combined Continuous Bomber Presence (CBP) and Bomber Task Force (BTF) mission.

The two bombers subsequently conducted bilateral joint training with 13 JASDF F-2s, four F-4s, and 28 F-15s, and six U.S. Air Force F-16s in the vicinity of Japan before returning to Andersen.

Collectively, the flights from the Indo-Pacific and continental United States demonstrate U.S. commitment to allies and partners through the global employment of military forces.

“For more than 60 years, the U.S.-Japan Alliance has been the cornerstone of stability and security in the region. The integration of bomber aircraft operations in the Indo-Pacific, alongside our Koku Jieitai partners, provides a significant opportunity to enhance our combined readiness, promote interoperability, demonstrate our global power projection and provide transparency across the region,” said Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., Pacific Air Forces commander. “This mission fully demonstrates our enduring commitment to a Free and Open Indo-Pacific and our willingness to defend our interests and the freedoms enshrined in international law.”

U.S. Strategic Command’s bomber forces regularly conduct combined theater security cooperation engagements with allies and partners, demonstrating U.S. capability to command, control and conduct bomber missions around the world.

“This mission demonstrates the flexibility, long reach and responsive nature of our bomber force as we continue to assure our allies and deter aggressors globally,” said Maj. Gen. James Dawkins, Jr., Eighth Air Force and Joint-Global Strike Operations Center commander. “Joint and multinational integration provides an excellent opportunity for our Airmen to maintain their readiness and hone their global strike capability.”

The bombers from Guam are assigned to the 69th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron out of Minot AFB, North Dakota, deployed in support of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s CBP operations. Pacific Air Force’s have flown CBP operations for more than 15 years in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific. These missions routinely operate throughout the region in accordance with international law and norms.

The F-16s are assigned to the 35th Fighter Wing from Misawa Air Base, Japan.

U.S. Strategic Command has conducted bomber task force missions since 2014 as a demonstration of the U.S. commitment to collective security, and to integrate with Geographic Combatant Command operations. The first mission included B-52Hs and B-2 Spirits traveling from the continental United States to Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam in April 2014.

Strategic bomber missions enhance the readiness and training necessary to respond to any potential crisis or challenge across the globe.

https://www.pacom.mil/Media/News/News-Article-View/Article/2076843/us-japan-bomber-fighter-integration-showcases-alliance-global-power-projection/

 

 

 

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- Six U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons integrated with two B-52H Stratofortress bombers and 13 Koku Jieitai (Japan Air Self Defense Force or JASDF) F-2s to conduct bilateral and theater familiarization training at Draughon Range near the coast of Misawa, Japan, Feb 3.

The 14th Fighter Squadron teamed up with pilots based out of Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Minot AFB, North Dakota and Hyakuri Air Base, Japan, three days prior to mission execution to conduct a mission-planning orientation that ensured all the aircraft arrived in the airspace at the same time.

“This exercise was unique because this was the first time we’ve combined F-2s and B-52s in a training scenario utilizing Draughon Range,” said Lt. Col. David Madson, the 35th Operations Support Squadron commander. “We continue to increase the capabilities and capacity of Draughon Range and the connecting airspace. In doing such we’re able to provide unmatched training opportunities in the Northern Pacific.”

With three different airframes in attendance from across the Indo-Pacific and continental United States, all are puzzle pieces that, when teamed up, are ready for combat.

“Being able to mission plan and execute a large force engagement exercise from geographically separated bases throughout the world shows the interoperability of Japan and the U.S. and their ability to provide combat air power in the Indo-Pacific region,” said Maj. Joseph Valdez, 35th OSS wing weapons officer.

During the training scenario the B-52s and F-2s simulated strikes over 80 assigned targets, and then accomplished follow-on dynamic targeting while the F-16s provided escort for the strikers against simulated adversary aircraft, and suppression of enemy air defenses against the integrated air defenses located on Draughon Range.

Each asset played a vital role over the course of the mission demonstrating the U.S. commitment to allies and partners through the global employment of military forces.

“This mission was significant in that it brought together U.S. Air Force and JASDF assets and is a representation of our ability to synchronize effects from all over the world to provide lethal airpower to combatant commanders whenever requested,” said Madson.

https://www.pacom.mil/Media/News/News-Article-View/Article/2089460/misawa-f-16-pilots-integrate-with-bombers-koku-jieitai-counterparts/

 

 

On April 22nd, a B-1B and four F-16s of the USAF conducted joint-training with seven F-2s and eight F-15Js of the JASDF in the airspace around Japan and over the Sea of Japan.

april22jpuse.JPG

 

 

 

In demonstration of the U.S. Air Force’s dynamic force employment model, a U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bomber flew from the continental United States and integrated with the Koku Jieitai (Japan Air Self Defense Force or JASDF) to conduct bilateral and theater familiarization training near Japan April 22.

The B-1, flew a 30-hour round-trip sortie from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., to the Indo-Pacific and teamed up with six U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons, seven JASDF F-2s and eight JASDF F-15s over Draughon Range near Misawa as part of a joint U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) Bomber Task Force (BTF) mission before returning home.

“This operation showcases our unwavering commitment to the security and stability of the Indo-Pacific region through the employment of strategic forces from around the globe,” said Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., Pacific Air Forces and INDOPACOM Air Component commander. “From confronting invisible threats of a global pandemic to addressing military aggression and coercive activities, we remain a lethal, innovative and interoperable force focused on a shared vision of upholding a free and open lndo-Pacific.”

In line with the National Defense Strategy’s objectives of strategic predictability and operational unpredictability, the U.S. Air Force transitioned its force employment model to enable strategic bombers to operate forward in the Indo-Pacific region from a broader array of overseas and CONUS locations with greater operational resilience.

“Like the advancements of our Agile Combat Employment concept of operations, we continue to innovate and adapt our approach, to include how we deploy and employ the various weapons systems we integrate with our allies and partners,” Brown said. “Bringing the B-1 into theater ensures our bilateral interoperability accounts for any combination of flying operations to prepare for and outpace the rapidly growing threats in the Indo-Pacific region.”

This marks the second CONUS-based bomber bilateral training to occur this year with the JASDF. On Feb. 3, two B-52s integrated with six USAF F-16s and more than 45 JASDF fighter aircraft in the vicinity of Misawa Air Base, Japan. Those bombers flew from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, and Minot Air Force Base, N.D.

“The rapid employment of airpower directly supports the National Defense Strategy and assures we can provide overwhelming force anywhere, anytime in support of American interests or our Allies and partners,” said Gen. Tim Ray, Air Force Global Strike Command and Air Forces-Strategic commander. “This mission is a demonstration to our friends throughout the region: we will continue to remain fully predictable in our commitment to ensuring peace, while also demonstrating that we have the ability to operate from numerous locations across the globe, even during the global pandemic.”

The B-1 is assigned to the 28th Bomb Wing and the F-16s are assigned to the 35th Fighter Wing from Misawa Air Base, Japan.

The last time the B-1 was in the INDOPACOM area of responsibility was January 2018, when the airframe and crews completed a six-month Continuous Bomber Presence mission at Andersen. During that time, the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron from Dyess Force Base, Texas, conducted a number of sequenced bilateral missions with the Republic of Korea Air Force and the JASDF.

USSTRATCOM has conducted BTF missions (previously known as Bomber Assurance and Deterrence missions) since 2014 as a demonstration of the U.S. commitment to collective security, and to integrate with Geographic Combatant Command operations. The first mission included B-52H Stratofortresses and B-2 Spirits traveling from the continental United States to Joint Base Pearl-Harbor Hickam in April 2014.

https://www.pacaf.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2161283/us-japan-bomber-fighter-integration-demonstrates-dynamic-force-employment/

https://www.mod.go.jp/asdf/news/houdou/R2/20200423.pdf

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