Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | Jan. 31, 2020

U.S. Marines, Japan Ground Self-Defense Force complete Exercise Forest Light Western Army

By Capt. George McArthur 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit

KIRISHIMA TRAINING AREA, Japan -- The bilateral U.S.-Japan training Exercise Forest Light Western Army has concluded with a closing ceremony here, Jan. 30.

More than 145 Okinawa-based U.S. Marines and a division of four MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit joined around 500 Japan Ground Self-Defense Force service members for the regularly-scheduled exercise Jan. 18 – 30 in locations throughout Kyushu, Japan, including Camp Oyanohara and Camp Takayubaru in Kumamoto Prefecture, and the Kirishima Training Area in Kagoshima Prefecture.

The exercise consisted of field training events encompassing basic infantry skills, integrated vertical assaults with MV-22 Osprey aircraft, and combined-arms operations with both allied nations’ forces completing a variety of missions together. U.S. Marines with Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, and Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 (Reinforced), 31st MEU, worked alongside their JGSDF counterparts with the 12th Infantry Regiment, 8th Division, Western Army.

The exercise culminated with full-mission profile rehearsals simulating supporting operations for the seizure of captured islands. The final assault included both forces working together to locate, close-with, and destroy a simulated enemy with bilateral supporting fires by 81-millimeter mortar sections managed by a combined combat operations center, military operations in urban terrain, and casualty evacuation of role-players by a JGSDF UH-60 helicopter. The display of successful bilateral operations included detailed planning, rehearsals, and thorough coordination among the two nations’ forces.

Bilateral training is essential to ensuring that our forces are prepared to work and fight together should the need arise. Exercise Forest Light Western Army and similar training like it serve testament to the proven partnership the U.S. Marine Corps and JGSDF have during real-world contingencies such as actions after the Kumamoto earthquakes in April 2016. The last time that MV-22 Ospreys with the Dragons of VMM-265 (REIN) assigned to the 31st MEU were in Kumamoto, they flew from Okinawa to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, and provided humanitarian assistance and disaster relief with the Japan Self-Defense Force as part of Joint Task Force Chinzei. This example emphasizes the importance of interoperability shared in the course of bilateral training exercises such as Forest Light Western Army.

The Forest Light series of exercises enhance the collective defense capabilities of the U.S.-Japanese alliance in a dynamic and challenging environment through a variety of bilateral training activities.
CONNECT WITH USINDOPACOM
Facebook

Like Us
Twitter
328,417
Follow Us

ENGAGE & CONNECT MORE WITH PACOM

                                                 

IN THE USINDOPACOM NEWS
31st MEU Conducts Joint Light Tactical Vehicle Shore-to-Ship Heavy Lif
U.S. Marines with Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 262 (Rein.), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit places a joint light tactical vehicle onto Expeditionary Mobile Base USS Miguel Keith (ESB-5) using a CH-53E Super Stallion during a helicopter support team exercise in the Philippine Sea, Aug. 8, 2022. HSTs enable the setup of an expedient drop zone for heavy equipment to be picked up and transported by flight. The 31st MEU is operating aboard ships of the Tripoli Amphibious Ready Group in the 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.
Aug. 10, 2022 - PHILIPPINE SEA, USS Tripoli -- Marines from 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit logistics combat element, Combat Logistics Battalion (CLB) 31, worked alongside the aviation combat element, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squdron-262...

Readout of Chief of Staff Air Force’s Visit to Singapore
Dr. Ng Eng Hen, Singapore Minister for Defence, presents Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr. with the Meritorious Service Medal during a visit to Singapore Aug. 7-10. The purpose of the visit was to reaffirm the U.S. Air Force's commitment to the bilateral defense relationship and discuss efforts to enhance cooperation.
Aug. 10, 2022 - SINGAPORE (AFNS) -- U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr. traveled to Singapore Aug. 7-10 to reaffirm the U.S. Air Force's commitment to the bilateral defense relationship and discuss efforts to enhance...

Carrier Air Wing 9 Returns from Indo-Pacific Deployment
E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes assigned to the
Aug. 10, 2022 - SAN DIEGO -- Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9, embarked aboard Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), returned from a seven-month deployment to the U.S. 3rd and 7th Fleet areas of operations, Aug. 9.VW-9 is the...

Responders to Hold Search and Rescue Exercise off Tumon Bay
The USCGC Frederick Hatch (WPC 1143) departs Apra Harbor, Guam, on Aug. 5, 2022, for a patrol. The Hatch is a 154-foot Sentinel-class fast response cutter that calls Guam its home port.
Aug. 10, 2022 - SANTA RITA, Guam -- The U.S. Coast Guard, Guam Fire Rescue, Guam Police, and the U.S. Navy will conduct a search and rescue exercise (SAREX) in Guam, Aug. 10 – 11.This year’s SAREX will entail a coordinated response to an...

Rangers Reunite Across the World During Super Garuda Shield
Maj. Arief Widyanto, Tentara Nasional Indonesia (TNI) poses for a photo after reuniting with his former Ranger Instructor, 1st Sgt. Dan Alexander during Super Garuda Shield in Bataraja, Indonesia on Aug. 3, 2022. Super Garuda Shield, a part of Operation Pathways and a longstanding annual, bilateral military exercise conducted between the U.S. military and Indonesia National Armed Forces, reinforces the U.S. commitments to our allies, and regional partners, joint readiness, and the interoperability to fight and win together.
Aug. 10, 2022 - BATURAJA, INDONESIA -- Among the hundreds of people present during the joint airborne operations in support of Super Garuda Airborne on Aug. 3, 2022, 1st Sergeant Dan Alexander, First Sergeant, A Company., 2-35 Infantry...