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    U.S., Japan forces join for exercise Keen Edge 2010



    Courtesy Story

    III Marine Expeditionary Force   

    Cpl. Rebekka S. Heite

    CAMP FOSTER — More than 100 U.S. Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Japanese Self Defense Force soldiers on Okinawa worked with their counterparts on mainland Japan on several real-world scenarios taking place in Japan during Exercise Keen Edge 2010 Jan. 22 through Wednesday.

    "[Keen Edge] is a joint, bilateral exercise where U.S. forces in Japan team up with [JSDF soldiers] and execute a command post exercise through different operations centers dispersed within mainland Japan and Okinawa," said Maj. Brian Sanchez, lead planner of the exercise from Marine Corps Base Camp Butler G-3.

    The biennial exercise was a 24-hour day, weeklong exercise in which U.S. and Japanese forces worked together to complete the mission.

    The focus of Keen Edge was "working as one team to defeat a variety of threats that Pacific forces would face in a realistic scenario," added Lt. Col. Daniel Ircink, senior watch officer from Marine Corps Base Camp Butler G-3.

    During the exercise the participants worked on different scenarios including noncombatant evacuation operations and crisis management with the emphasis on bilateral coordination between U.S. and Japanese forces, Sanchez added.

    "This is my first time to work with Marines," said JSDF Capt. Shinjiro Suzuki, with the Japanese Western Army Headquarters. He is from Aichi Prefecture on mainland Japan.

    The first day was difficult for him because of the language barriers and the differences in how U.S. and Japanese forces handle each scenario, he said.

    When Suzuki receives a report, he has one way of handling the situation, but the U.S. Forces have different ways of handling the same situation, he explained.

    By the end of the training, the participants reached a "happy point" where now it is easy to work together, Suzuki added.

    "The work tempo was high, and the scenarios were challenging, but it was a rewarding experience to work with the Army, Navy, Air Force and Japanese," said Sanchez.

    "You have to train like this to expose weakness," said Army 1st Lt. Scot Marinelli, an Army liaison during the exercise from 10th Area Support Group, Torii Station. "You don't know what you don't know until you have exercises like this."



    Date Taken: 02.02.2010
    Date Posted: 02.02.2010 23:38
    Story ID: 44823
    Location: OKINAWA, JP 

    Web Views: 278
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    U.S., Japan forces join for exercise Keen Edge 2010