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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 September 5 - 11  > Japan and U.S. held 54 joint military exercises for a total of 353 days in FY 2006
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2007 September 5 - 11 [US FORCES]

Japan and U.S. held 54 joint military exercises for a total of 353 days in FY 2006

September 8, 2007
Japan and the United States held 54 joint military training exercises in FY 2006 (April 1-March 31) over a total of 353 days. Although the number of exercises and days spent on them decreased from the previous fiscal year (106 times over 416 days), they are apparently aimed at increasing the capability to fight wars like that in Iraq.
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In October, the Chiba-based Ground SDF 1st Airborne Brigade took part in joint training exercises held at the Sekiyama training area in Niigata Prefecture with the 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry Regiment, 41st Brigade Combat Team, U.S. Oregon National Guard, which had engaged in a mopping-up operation in Fallujah, Iraq.

According to The Oregon Sentinel (Winter 2006 issue), US soldiers trained SDF troops “weapons training, traffic control, short range marksmanship and close quarters combat,” as well as “sniper roles and responsibilities, fundamentals of marksmanship, range estimation, sniper tasks camouflage, observation, rapid-target engagement, recon and surveillance, and cordon and search operations.”

In January and February 2007, the Okinawa-based Ground SDF 1st Combined Brigade carried out training exercises with the Okinawa-based U.S. Marine Corps 3rd expeditionary division at the Oyano training area in Kumamoto Prefecture for military operations in urban terrain (MOUT). The United States is attaching importance to training exercises for urban warfare in prosecuting the Iraq War.

Last March, the Okinawa-based U.S. Air Force and Air SDF units conducted their first joint training exercises with F-15 jet fighters near the Air SDF Tsuiki Air Base in Fukuoka Prefecture. This was part of the attempt to achieve Japan-U.S. military integration under the pretext of ‘reducing Okinawa’s burden from U.S. bases.
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