An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | Dec. 4, 2014

One Shot: Marines, Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Complete Sniper Training

By Cpl. Drew Tech III Marine Expeditionary Force / Marine Corps Installations Pacific

U.S. Marine Corps scout snipers collaborated with Japan Ground Self-Defense Force snipers during a lesson in stalking Dec. 2 in the Oyanohara Training Area in Yamato, Kumamoto prefecture, Japan.

The training is part of Forest Light 15-1, a semi-annual, bilateral exercise consisting of a command post exercise and field training events conducted by elements of III Marine Expeditionary Force and the JGSDF.

The Marines worked alongside the JGSDF scout snipers to improve their abilities in camouflage techniques, stalking when moving through open and wooded areas and the different movement techniques that can be used while stalking.

“These techniques are important to us as snipers because we need to be able to move undetected into different areas and be able to set up and engage selected targets,” said U.S. Marine Sgt. Joseph Armistead, a scout sniper with Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, currently attached to 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III MEF, under the unit deployment program. “Showing the JGSDF how to do this and increase their knowledge on it will make them better at their task as well.”

Forest Light demonstrates the continued commitment of the U.S. and Japan to increase interoperability of our armed forces and maintain a strong partnership to protect Japan from external aggression.

“I believe that this bilateral training is important because it’s building our friendship and communications with them … bridging that gap between our culture and theirs,” said Armistead, from Seymour, Tennessee. “Another importance is they have different methods on how to perform the same task we do. So we share our ideas and at the end of it we both become better.”

The language barrier gives the two sides an added challenge during the bilateral training, but in the end they both manage to get their messages across, according to U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Jonas G. Dewald, from Wilson, North Carolina.

“It has been more difficult than I thought it would be,” said Dewald, a machine gunner with the company. “Things tend to get lost in translation, especially when we are trying to hit all the little details and really improve our stalking abilities. I think the main idea was conveyed in the end though.”

The same group of Marines is scheduled to continue to work with the JGSDF snipers throughout the exercise.

“I’ve enjoyed working with the JGSDF,” said Dewald. “They have been very professional, very humble and eager to learn, which is great. I’m looking forward to some of the stalk lanes later this week that we have planned. I’m hoping to see them put some of the skills we taught them today into action.”

The JGSDF snipers agreed learning from Marines with combat experience is a valuable addition to their training regimen.

“I think it’s great that we share our experience with each other,” said JGSDF Staff Sgt. Junichi Tachikawa, a scout sniper with 42nd Regiment, 8th Division, Western Army, JGSDF. “I hope to continue these types of exercises in the future.”


Like Us
Follow Us



Republic of Korea and U.S. Navies Conduct Joint Maritime Counter-Special Operations Exercise
Sept. 26, 2022 - WATERS EAST OF THE KOREAN PENINSULA, Republic of Korea (NNS) – The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group (CSG) began a series of exercises in the East Sea with the Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy, Sept. 26-29 to strengthen maritime...

VQ-1 “World Watchers”, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Participate in Raijin 22-2
Members of Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Air Reconnaissance Squadron (VQ) 81 and Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron (VQ) 1 pose for a group photo in front of a US Navy EP-3 during Raijin 22-2, an annual unit exchange. Based out of Whidbey Island, Washington, the VQ-1 “World Watchers” are currently operating from Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan. The squadron conducts naval operations as part of a rotational deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.
Sept. 26, 2022 - KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- Members of Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron (VQ) 1 hosted their counterparts from Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Air Reconnaissance Squadron (VQ) 81 during Raijin 22-2, as part of an...

First U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Visits Maldives Since 2009
A small boat from the Maldivian Coast Guard ship Ghazee transits near U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Midgett (WMSL 757) during a joint exercise held in the waters east of the Maldives, Sept. 22, 2022. These professional exchanges are designed to share expertise and best practices in completing missions.
Sept. 26, 2022 - MALDIVES -- The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Midgett (WMSL 757) and crew arrived in the Maldives, Friday, and this is the first Coast Guard ship to visit the Maldives since the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell did in...

Third Multi-Domain Task Force Activated for Indo-Pacific Duty
U.S. Army Pacific hosts 3rd Multi-Domain Task Force activation ceremony  Sept. 23, 2022, on Historic Palm Circle at Fort Shafter, Hawaii. The activation of a MDTF is part of a long-standing plan to increase Multi-Domain Operations capabilities in the Indo-Pacific region.
Sept. 26, 2022 - FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii -- United States Army Pacific commander, Gen. Charles A. Flynn, constantly reminds people wherever he goes that the Indo-Pacific region is the most consequential theater for the United States this...

USS Charleston Participates in Exercise Kakadu 2022
The Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Charleston, right, sails with Royal Australian Navy (RAN) frigate HMAS Perth (FFH 157) during the RAN Exercise Kakadu 2022 (KA22) in the waters off Northern Australian, Sept. 19, 2022. KA22 is the 15th iteration of the RAN’s flagship biennial regional maritime international engagement exercise, drawing together approximately 3000 personnel, 15 warships and more than 30 aircraft from 22 countries.
Sept. 26, 2022 - DARWIN, Australia -- The Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Charleston (LCS 18) participated in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Exercise Kakadu 2022 (KA22) ashore in Darwin, Australia, and at sea in the waters off...