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U.S. and Japan Self-Defense Forces conclude biennial exercise Keen Sword 2023

22-010 | Nov. 18, 2022

Units from the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) and U.S. military have concluded exercise Keen Sword 23 on November 19, 2022, after 11 days of bilateral and multinational training evolutions.


During this year’s iteration, the full spectrum of operational capabilities was flexed, joining elements of the JSDF and U.S. forces across Japan from the Nansei Islands to Hokkaido in ground, aviation, maritime, cyber and space in realistic and vital training scenarios ranging from live-fire and targeting events to humanitarian relief and logistical resupply exercises.


Notably, along with further integrating and rehearsing capabilities with the fifth-generation F-35 aircraft and HIMARS launching system, this is the first Keen Sword iteration where capabilities from Australia, Canada and Great Britain were incorporated into the exercise. This inclusion further bolsters our Alliance’s multilateral integration with other partner nations, a relationship that further exemplifies the interest of other allies in the peace and security of the Indo-Pacific region. This is in addition to the multiple foreign observers who viewed the training evolutions.


"I am continually impressed with the level of professionalism and commitment our JSDF partners have in their training to defend Japan. Seeing them work side-by-side with our military during Keen Sword raises that bar," said Lieutenant General Ricky Rupp, commander of USFJ and Fifth Air Force. "At every iteration of training, U.S. and Japanese forces were linked together working as one cohesive force, highlighting what it means to be a capable bilateral alliance as we remain at the highest levels of relevancy, lethality and responsiveness. It shows we continually stand ready for whatever comes our way, be it a bad actor or a natural disaster. The fact we had other countries' participation this year proves our other allies, both within and outside of the region, take the security of the Indo-Pacific just as seriously as we do."


Exercises like Keen Sword provide the JSDF and U.S. military opportunities to train together across a variety of mission areas in realistic scenarios to enhance readiness, interoperability, and build credible deterrence. Keen Sword is a key opportunity to foster ever closer cooperation between the United States and Japan and reinforce our strong alliance and shared values.


Keen Sword is a bilateral field training exercise conducted biennially since 1986, designed to increase combat readiness and interoperability of the JSDF and U.S. forces.


Questions regarding JSDF training and personnel should be referred to Japan Joint Staff Office Public Affairs at +81-3-3268-3111 ext. 30056.

自衛隊の訓練や隊員に関するお問い合わせは、統合幕僚監部広報課(03-3268-3111 内線30056)までお願いします。