YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan --
Units from the U.S. military and Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) will conduct Exercise Keen Sword 17 beginning Oct. 30, 2016. Keen Sword is the largest joint, bilateral field training exercise between the U.S. military and the JSDF.
The commander of U.S. Forces Japan and the Chief of Staff of the Japan Joint Staff will direct the exercise, which runs until Nov. 11. KS17 involves U.S. forces and the JSDF from all components of both militaries, training to conduct bilateral operations in support of the defense of Japan. The exercise is designed to increase combat readiness and interoperability within the framework of the U.S.-Japan alliance.
"Operational readiness is a guiding principle for U.S. Forces, Japan," said USFJ Commander Lt. Gen. Jerry Martinez. "Keen Sword 17 is an opportunity to increase readiness by providing a realistic training environment for U.S. forces and the JSDF to practice, evaluate and improve our coordination procedures and interoperability requirements."
Approximately, 11,000 U.S. military personnel will participate in KS17, including those assigned to U.S. Forces Japan Headquarters, 5th Air Force, U.S. Naval Forces Japan, U.S. Army Japan, III Marine Expeditionary Force and 7th Fleet. The forces will conduct training with their JSDF counterparts at military installations throughout mainland Japan, Okinawa and in the air and waters surrounding Japan, Guam and Tinian.
Significant training activities during KS17 will include air and sea operations, integrated air and missile defense and ballistic missile defense in order to keep pace with the growing ballistic missile threat in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.