U.S. Pacific Command


Marines and Japan Self Defense Force Members Participate in Opening Ceremony of Exercise Northern Viper 17

By 1st Lt. Karoline Foote | III Marine Expeditionary Force  | August 11, 2017

HOKUDAIEN, Japan -- Marines with 1st Marine Aircraft Wing and 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, participated alongside members of the Japan Self Defense Force (JSDF) in the opening ceremony of Northern Viper 2017 on Aug. 10, 2017 in Hokudaien, Japan.

The ceremony marked the start of the first iteration of Northern Viper, a bilateral, joint force exercise in the Hokkaido region of Japan.

During the ceremony, commanding generals from the JSDF and U.S. Marine Corps spoke on the importance of the exercise.

“The purpose of this exercise is to enhance interoperability among units of the Japan Ground Self Defense Force and the United States Marine Corps on Japan-U.S. bilateral combined arms operations including command post exercises through each chain of command, utilizing the Hokkaido maneuver area as foundation of the exercise,” said Maj. Gen. Takemoto, the commanding general of 11th Brigade, Northern Army, JGSDF.

“[Northern Viper] represents our dedication to maintaining and growing our close relationship with our Japanese partners,” said Brig. Gen. Thomas Weidley, the commanding general of 1st MAW, during his remarks at the opening ceremony. “The relationships that we build here during this exercise will improve our shared capabilities to respond to crises and natural disasters at a moment’s notice.”

The exercise will involve joint training on combined arms tactical proficiency, and aviation training, including close-air-support, troop movement and medical support.

The exercise is scheduled to take place from August 10 through August 28, 2017.
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