Waters Near the Coast of Japan -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65), supported U.S. Marines and members of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) during exercise Resolute Dragon 22, Oct. 10-13.
This is the second consecutive year Commander, Task Force (CTF) 71 and 3d Marine Division integrated and trained together, with various parts of the exercise taking place in multiple locations across Japan.
“I am pleased to have been a part of such a well-executed combined forces exercise, said Capt. Walter Mainor, Commander, Task Force 71. “It is essential that we continue to train together to build upon our existing relationships with our partners and allies, strengthen interoperability and exemplify the mutual goal of a secure Indo-Pacific region.”
Resolute Dragon is an annual bilateral training designed to strengthen the defensive capabilities of the U.S.-Japan alliance by refining procedures for bilateral command, control, and coordination in a geographically distributed environment and maximize efficiency of firing assets.
Bilateral training exercises like Resolute Dragon, conducted between the Japan Self-Defense Force and forward-deployed U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) forces, demonstrate both countries’ devotion to their mutual partnership and dedication to defending peace and security in the Indo-Pacific.
"The CTF-71/ Northern Army (JGSDF)/ 3d Marine Division team proved that we can perform allied and joint combined arms operations against a peer aggressor who threatens the security of the global commons and the western Pacific,” said Colonel Jonathon Sims, Commanding Officer, 12th Marine Regiment. “CTF-71 was crucial the counter amphibious landing training on which Resolute Dragon was focused. The US Naval Team in support of our Japanese Self Defense Force family is training and ready to uphold peace and security throughout the First Island Chain, and will defeat any aggression or change to the current status-quo."
Participating units included USS Benfold, USNS Dahl (T-AKR-312) and USNS Sacagawea (T-AKE-2), Naval Cargo Handling Battalion 11, Patrol Squadron 45, Helicopter Maritime Squadron-51, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Forces (JMSDF), and approximately 1,600 Marines and Sailors from across III MEF including forces from 3d Marine Division, 12th Marines, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, and 3d Marine Logistics Group partnered with 1,400 Japan Ground Self-Defense Force personnel from the Northern Army, 2nd Division, during Resolute Dragon 22.
Benfold coordinated with JMSDF Type 88 surface-to-ship missile trucks and USMC high mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS), in addition to performing air controller duties for the joint and allied aircraft participating, enhancing interoperability and readiness during the exercise as part of maritime warfare integration from the sea.
"It's outstanding to work with JGSDF and our USMC counterparts,” said Cmdr. Marcus Seeger, commanding officer of USS Benfold. “Every exercise we do like this gives us an opportunity to improve our ability to work together and to demonstrate our steadfast commitment to an Indo-Pacific that is free and open."
Benfold is assigned to Commander, Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the Navy’s largest forward-deployed DESRON and U.S. 7th fleet’s principal surface warfare commander.
U.S. 7th Fleet is the largest forward-deployed fleet in the world. With the help of a network of alliances and partners from 35 other maritime-nations, the U.S. Navy has operated in the Indo-Pacific region for more than 70 years, providing credible, ready forces to help preserve peace and prevent conflict.