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U.S. and Japan Self Defense Force Kick off Exercise Keen Sword

A B-1 bomber from the 34th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron leads a formation with fighters in front of U.S. Navy and Japanese surface vessels during Exercise Keen Sword 17, which took place Oct. 30 to Nov. 11, 2016, in the Pacific Ocean off the coasts of Japan, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. Keen Sword is a bilateral exercise between the Japanese Self-Defense Force and the United States designed to strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance and increase combined combat readiness within the framework of the alliance.

A B-1 bomber from the 34th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron leads a formation with fighters in front of U.S. Navy and Japanese surface vessels during Exercise Keen Sword 17, which took place Oct. 30 to Nov. 11, 2016, in the Pacific Ocean off the coasts of Japan, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. Keen Sword is a bilateral exercise between the Japanese Self-Defense Force and the United States designed to strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance and increase combined combat readiness within the framework of the alliance.

Units from the U.S. military and Japan Self Defense Force (JSDF) will conduct exercise Keen Sword beginning Oct. 29, 2018. 

The biennial exercise is the latest in a series of joint/bilateral field training exercises since 1986 designed to increase combat readiness and interoperability of U.S. forces and the JSDF. Two Royal Canadian Navy ships will participate in the maritime portion of the exercise for the first time. 

This year’s iteration will feature the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force’s (JGSDF) Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade (ARDB), which will conduct amphibious landings in the vicinity of Guam and Tinian. U.S. Marines from III Marine Expeditionary Force will work side-by-side with the ARDB and serve as mentors and evaluators. 

Approximately 10,000 U.S. service members from the following units are scheduled to participate in KS19: U.S. Pacific Fleet, U.S. Forces Japan, 7th Fleet, 5th Air Force, 374th Airlift Wing, 18th Wing, 35th Fighter Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force. The forces will conduct training with their JSDF counterparts from military installations throughout mainland Japan, Okinawa, Guam, Tinian, and their surrounding waters. 

Exercises like Keen Sword provide the JSDF and U.S. military opportunities to train together across a variety of mission areas in realistic scenarios, enhancing readiness and interoperability. 

Questions regarding U.S. participation should be referred to U.S. Forces Japan at +81-042-551-5924. Questions regarding JSDF training and personnel should be referred to Japan Joint Staff Office Public Affairs at (03)5366-3111 ext. 30056.


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