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NEWS | Dec. 7, 2021

3DMEB and the Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade begin Annual Command Post Exercise Yama Sakura 81

By Lt. Col. Caleb Eames 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade

OKINAWA, Japan -- The 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force’s Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade are taking part in Yama Sakura 81, an annual command post exercise, Dec. 7 to Dec. 13, 2021 at Camp Courtney, Okinawa and Camp Ainoura, Nagasaki, Japan. The 3D MEB’s and ARDB’s portion of the exercise is part of the largest command post exercise held between the U.S. Army and the JGSDF called Yama Sakura 81.

Beginning in 1982, Yama Sakura has focused on the defense of Japan with bilateral planning, coordination, and interoperability between JGSDF and U.S. military units, including 3D MEB and I Corps. This exercise highlights the continued commitment by both the United States and Japan to enhance American and Japanese combat readiness and integration while strengthening bilateral relationships.

“Yama Sakura helps the 3D MEB and ARDB be more resilient and ready together. It is clear that we are stronger and more effective when we compete as a team. This command post exercise makes us more capable and more lethal. Although our daily objective is to prevent conflict, our adversaries should not take that to mean we will not be prepared for conflict. We will be ready and resilient together.” said Brig. Gen. Kyle Ellison, 3D MEB Commanding General. “Fighting and planning beside each other makes us better. Marines and our ARDB counterparts are united in our commitment to peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.”

The U.S.-Japan Alliance has served as a foundation for regional peace and security for more than 70 years allowing the United States and Japan to forge a relationship built on a shared vision of peace, prosperity, democracy and regional stability. Yama Sakura 81 is essential to maintaining peace and security in Japan and the Indo-Pacific region. Our two forces support a free and open Indo-Pacific united by shared values, interests, and commitment to mutual security.

The 3D MEB, III Marine Expeditionary Force’s Fire Brigade, provides a forward-deployed command and control element that can rapidly react to counter aggression against Japan and other allies and partners as well as respond to crisis in the region.

The ARDB deployed to work with 3D MEB on Camp Courtney, in Okinawa, Japan in 2019 and 2020 for previous Yama Sakura exercises, and is working with them again during YS 81.

For questions regarding 3D Marine Expeditionary Brigade participation in the exercise please call 3D Marine Expeditionary Brigade Communication Strategy at +81-80-8001-5429.

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