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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 July 24 - 30  > SDF joins US military’s deployment exercise
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2013 July 24 - 30 [SDF]

SDF joins US military’s deployment exercise

July 24, 2013
The Japanese Self-Defense Forces have taken part in the U.S. Army Japan’s deployment exercise, illustrating the deepening of Japan-U.S. military integration.

The exercise was conducted by the U.S. Army Japan and 1st Corps (Forward) of U.S. Camp Zama (Zama & Sagamihara cities, Kanagawa Pref.) between April 15 and April 19 at the U.S. Army Sagami General Depot (Sagamihara City).

Together with USARJ soldiers and about 100 airmen of the U.S. Yokota base (Tokyo), 25 military personnel of the Ground Self-Defense Force Central Readiness Force (CRF), whose headquarters was relocated to Camp Zama in March, participated in the training exercise.

The training involved a scenario of carrying military personnel and equipment to a fictitious island in the Indian Ocean in order to set up and operate a command center for “humanitarian” operations. The USARJ 1st Corps carried out this kind of training for the first time.

The U.S. military places humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations in its military strategy with the aim of preventing regions and countries from becoming hotbeds of terrorism or locations experiencing civil strife as a result of damages caused by an undetermined disaster.

Based on this strategy, Washington has repeatedly carried out multilateral and bilateral joint military training exercises in the Asia-Pacific region where massive earthquakes and tsunamis frequently occur.

The U.S. Army 1st Corps established its forward headquarters in U.S. Camp Zama in December 2007 as a part of the U.S. military realignment plan. The headquarters commands the U.S. Army in the Asia-Pacific region.

Regarding participation of the GSDF central response unit, the USARJ Public Affairs Office said that the GSDF can play “a role in the U.S. military’s humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations anywhere in the Asia-Pacific region”.

Suganuma Mikio, who represents a local anti-base group, said, “The U.S. forces have taken another step to incorporate the SDF into its overseas military operations.”
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