US, JSDF & RCN Kick off Exercise Keen Sword

October 13, 2018 – Units from the U.S. military and Japan Self Defense Force (JSDF) will conduct exercise Keen Sword beginning Oct. 29, 2018.

The biennial exercise is the latest in a series of joint/bilateral field training exercises since 1986 designed to increase combat readiness and interoperability of U.S. forces and the JSDF. Two Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) ships (HMCS Calgary and MV Asterix) will participate in the maritime portion of the exercise for the first time.

This year’s iteration will feature the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force’s (JGSDF) Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade (ARDB), which will conduct amphibious landings in the vicinity of Guam and Tinian. U.S. Marines from III Marine Expeditionary Force will work side-by-side with the ARDB and serve as mentors and evaluators.

Approximately 10,000 U.S. service members from the following units are scheduled to participate in KS19: U.S. Pacific Fleet, U.S. Forces Japan, 7th Fleet, 5th Air Force, 374th Airlift Wing, 18th Wing, 35th Fighter Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force. The forces will conduct training with their JSDF counterparts from military installations throughout mainland Japan, Okinawa, Guam, Tinian, and their surrounding waters.

Exercises like Keen Sword provide the JSDF and U.S. military opportunities to train together across a variety of mission areas in realistic scenarios, enhancing readiness and interoperability.