US, Japanese forces in amphibious drill off Guam

Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) ship JS Hyuga (DDH-181) sits pierside in Guam prior to planned training during Keen Sword 2017. Photo: US Navy

U.S. and Japan Self Defense Force service members are set to carry out amphibious operations off of Guam and Tinian during a bilateral U.S. – Japan training exercise called Keen Sword.

U.S. Navy and Marine Corps units and personnel will combine with Japanese Self Defense Force units to conduct a range of amphibious missions between November 1-11.

Accompanying surface ships will take part in live-fire exercises and other maritime missions to simulate protecting the amphibious task force and providing supporting fires to ground forces ashore.

“We’re honored to work together with our Japanese Self Defense Force counterparts and learn from each other,” said Rear Adm. Marc H. Dalton, commander, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet. “By improving our bilateral amphibious capability, we increase interoperability and readiness as part of our deep and long-standing military cooperation in support of the U.S.-Japan defense alliance.”

Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) ship JS Hyuga will be the flagship for a four-ship Japanese amphibious task force, complimented by USS Comstock (LSD 45) and embarked 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit Marines.

A culminating amphibious landing will include an insertion of ground forces via combat rubber raid craft and a heli-borne assault, the U.S. Navy said.

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