US Army and JGSDF complete exercise Orient Shield 21-2
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US Army and JGSDF complete exercise Orient Shield 21-2

13 Jul 2021 (Last Updated July 13th, 2021 11:09)

The event is the largest army exercise in terms of troops and equipment deployment since the pandemic began.

US Army and JGSDF complete exercise Orient Shield 21-2
US Army High Mobility Artillery Rocket System’s with 17th Field Artillery Brigade conducted over 12 bilateral live fire missions with 4th Field Artillery Group, JGSDF Northern Army at Yausubetsu Training Area. Credit: US Army / Maj Elias M Chelala.

The US Army and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) have completed their bilateral field training exercise (FTX), code-named Orient Shield 21-2 (OS21-2), in Japan.

The exercise commenced on 7 June with the deployment of 1,600 soldiers and hundreds of equipment from the continental US to multiple training locations across Japan.

It included participants from the 40th Infantry Division, 1st Battalion 28th Infantry Regiment, 5th Security Force Assistance Brigade – SFAB, and JGSDF Middle, 17th Field Artillery Brigade,38th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, as well as Northern and Western Armies.

JGSDF staff chief general Yoshihide Yoshida said: “The security environment surrounding Japan has become increasingly severe.

“Whatever happens, the Japan-US land component will cooperate closely to enhance deterrent and operational capability and contribute to the peace and stability of the Indo-Pacific region.”

Before the start of the exercise, the USNS Fisher with Military Sealift Command delivered more than 150 units of equipment, which included aircraft and ground vehicles to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni.

For the first time, a ‘large, medium-speed roll-on/roll-off’ (LMSR) was docked in mainland Japan.

In addition, the US Army’s 3rd Infantry Division participated in OS21-2 for the first time and the units executed bilateral Air Assault, Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT), medical evacuation, and mortar training.

During the exercise, soldiers and JGSDF members were exposed to multiple unique geographical training environments such as the ‘guard and protect mission’.

Field training exercise Orient Shield 21-2 proved that the US Army and JGSDF could execute multi-domain and cross-domain operations throughout Japan.

These operations included ‘live, virtual, and constructive’ aspects of lethal long-range precision fires, joint watercraft system movement, bilateral targeting, aviation operations, guard and protect missions, as well as integrated air defence capabilities, among many others.