OITA, Japan -- Approximately 260 Okinawa-based U.S. Marine Corps and Japan Ground Self Defense Force personnel will begin the semi-annual bilateral exercise Forest Light 19.1 from Dec. 7 - 19, 2018 in the Oita Prefecture of Japan.
Marines from 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment, forward-deployed to 3d Marine Division as part of the Unit Deployment Program, along with Marines from Marine Aircraft Group - 36 will join their JGSDF counterparts from the 41st Infantry Regiment, Western Army during the bilateral exercise in December.
Forest Light will mark the first time a battalion from Marine Corps Forces Reserve has conducted an exercise on a bilateral level in the Indo-Pacific in more than ten years. This deployment highlights the capability and capacity of the reserve component to augment their active duty counterparts.
Forest Light 19.1 is designed to enhance the collective defense capabilities of the U.S. and Japan Alliance in a dynamic and challenging environment.