The US Army and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) have started their bilateral annual field training exercise, code-named Orient Shield 14, in Japan.
Co-sponsored by the US Army Japan and the JGSDF, the exercise includes nearly 700 soldiers from the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, and 900 JGSDF personnel from the 11th Infantry Regiment, 7th Division, Northern Army.
It also features US Stryker and Japanese fighting vehicles, as well as an array of military helicopters from the two countries. It aims to promote teamwork and collaboration through a series of combined light infantry, squad-level training events, including urban assault, building clearing and medical evacuation.
2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team commander colonel Louis Zeisman said: "I see the partnership that has already begun to form between the 7th Armoured Division and the 2nd Stryker Brigade, and together we will refine our interoperability and demonstrate our continued dedication to the development of both our teams."
The exercise is scheduled to conclude with participants working side-by-side in a scenario-based tactical field training exercise, which includes an air assault mission.
Orient Shield 14, the 28th iteration of the exercise, is focused on enhancing bilateral operations between the US Army and JGSDF and also improving combat planning readiness at the battalion level.
Additional goals include increasing company and platoon tactical level experience through the exchange of ideas, tactics, techniques and military experiences.
7th Division chief of staff colonel Hiroshi Ishida said: "I expect that through units' mutual understanding and the strengthening of individual communication, by the end of this exercise Japanese and US forces will experience improvements in tactics and skills, and higher interoperability."
The exercise is scheduled to conclude on 7 November.
Image: US Army and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force personnel participate in the opening ceremony for Orient Shied 14 at Camp Higashi-Chitose, Japan. Photo: courtesy of 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team.