Personnel from the US Japan and the Japan Self-Defense Forces have successfully concluded a joint-bilateral command post exercise, Keen Edge 16, at Yokota Air Base.
Exercise Keen Edge 16, which is the 14th command post exercise since 1986, aimed to enhance interoperability between US military and JSDF personnel during real-world contingencies as well as the overall combat readiness of the participating units.
USFJ operations director colonel Houston Cantwell said: "The training tests both nations ability to work together in a controlled environment giving both sides a better understanding of their combined capabilities."
Keen Edge 16 focused on bilateral coordination, force protection, host nation support, ballistic missile defence and non-combatant evacuation operations.
Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force 3rd Operations Division operations department director captain Satoru Onishi said: "We have to smooth US and Japan bilateral operations to better defend Japan and work together in concert during various emergencies.
"This training will be useful for us to successfully work together if we face these challenges in future contingencies."
The participating units employed the Joint Theater Level Simulation system to direct and respond to exercise events.
The computer-based simulations allowed the staff to practise and improve their skills by anticipating and reacting to an event of a crisis or contingency in real-time.
The command post training environment enhances mutual understanding of each country’s tactics, communication protocols, procedures and general interoperability.
In order to ensure peace and security throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, the US military conducts training in joint and bilateral environments to enhance operations proficiency and contingency response.
Image: Japan Self-Defense Force and US military members work on a scenario during exercise Keen Edge 16. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force photo / Senior Airman David Owsianka.