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NEWS | May 12, 2021

Japanese, French, Australian, and U.S. Troops Kick Off Exercise Jeanne D'Arc 21

By 1st Lt. Jonathan Coronel 3rd Marine Logistics Group

CAMP AINOURA, SASEBO, Japan -- The Japan Self Defense Force, French Armed Forces, Australian Defence Force, and U.S. military will execute multilateral exercise Jeanne D’Arc 21 here, May 11-16, 2021.

The exercise brings together service members from each nation’s military in a combined effort to enhance interoperability in pursuit of common regional security goals. At the beginning of the exercise, staff members from France, U.S., and Japanese forces will conduct planning during a staff exercise at Camp Ainoura, Naval Base Sasebo, in preparation for the field training exercise.

At the conclusion of this staff exercise, the field training portion of the exercise will begin at Kirishima Maneuver Area, with a combat engineer subject matter expertise exchange, casualty evacuation and combat service support training, simulated fire support coordination training between JSDF and U.S. military personnel, a forward arming and refueling point in support of Japanese and U.S. aircraft, and the culminating multilateral ship to shore amphibious air assault onto the objective area.

During the culminating event, U.S. reconnaissance Marines and Japan Ground Self-Defense Forces Special Forces soldiers will surveil the objective in preparation for follow-on forces. Next, Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey aircraft will insert French infantry forces from the FS Tonnerre, and JGSDF CH-47 aircraft will transport JSDF forces with embedded Marines from Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company to provide fire support for the multilateral raid force as it assaults the simulated urban objective.

“This exercise, by bringing together our air, land, and maritime forces to increase our ability to jointly respond to crises across the range of military operations, is yet another demonstration of our rapidly growing constellation of partners, all united by the common goal of a free and open Indo-Pacific,” said Lt Col Jeremy Nelson, commanding officer of 3d Landing Support Battalion, 3d Marine Logistics Group. "It is commonly said that we train alongside our partners and allies in peace to be ready to fight alongside them in war, and exercises like ARC-21 are the best example of this."

The exercise, conducted in adherence to strict COVID mitigation measures to protect all participating forces and the local communities, serves as an opportunity to improve the strength of the bond between the U.S., Japan, France, and Australia in defense of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

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