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HOME  > Past issues  > 2012 January 11 - 17  > US Army conducts parachute training in Tokyo
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2012 January 11 - 17 [US FORCES]

US Army conducts parachute training in Tokyo

January 12 & 13, 2012
The U.S. Army on January 10 carried out large-scale parachute drop training exercises at the U.S. Yokota Air Base which encompasses Tokyo’s Fussa, Musashimurayama, Hamura, Tachikawa, and Akishima cities and Mizuho Town.

A spokesperson of the Yokota AB explained that about 100 soldiers participated in the exercises that included parachuting down from six C130 transport aircraft onto the base.

The exercises took place for the purpose of supporting stability in Japan and the region as well as securing and verifying the readiness of the tactical airlifting mission at the Yokota AB, according to the spokesperson.

Monitoring the exercises from the Hamura City side, Takahashi Mieko of the Hamura Peace Committee said, “I’m very surprised because I’ve never seen such exercises before. It looked as if the Yokota base had become a battlefield.”

* * *

The U.S. Army Forces on January 12 again conducted a parachuting drill at the base without prior notice to the five cities and the one town.

The Defense Ministry informed these municipalities of U.S. military training exercises (“Samurai surge”) scheduled for January 10 in advance, but a defense ministry official said that even the defense ministry did not know about the additional training.

The Yokota AB spokesperson stated that participating U.S. soldiers belong to the U.S. Army in the Pacific region.

It is highly probable that they are with the 25th Infantry Division 4th Airborne Brigade Combat Team based in Alaska.

This team will also participate in “Yama Sakura 61” training exercises held jointly with Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force between January 24 and February 6 at GSDF Camp Itami in Hyogo Prefecture. The U.S. team will be responsible in regaining a Japanese island on the assumption that it is occupied by “enemy” forces.

The “Yama Sakura 61” exercise is aimed at reinforcing the capabilities of the U.S. Army in South Korea, Hawaii, and Camp Zama in Kanagawa as an operations command center in the Asia-Pacific region.

Another bilateral military exercise called “Keen Edge 2012” will take place from January 23 to January 27 at the Yokota AB, centering on the operational capabilities of the U.S. Air Force and Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force.

The numbers of U.S. training exercises in Japan show that the U.S. forces are increasing their readiness to respond to emergency situations in the Asia-Pacific region.
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