The Japanese Ground-Self Defense Force (JGSDF) will conduct joint exercises with the United States Marine Corps (USMC) in southwestern Japan’s Kyushu and Okinawa regions, which will be held from Feb 25 to Mar 17. Exercise Iron Fist has been held since 2006 and was only carried out in Japan for the first time ever in 2023 and is primarily focused on the defence of remote islands. To be held in Kagoshima Prefecture’s Okinoerabujima Island for the first time and other locations including the USMC’s Camp Hansen in Okinawa, the exercise will involve 2,100 troops from the JGDSF’s Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade and the USMC’s 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit in a series of beach landing drills and live-fire exercises.
According to the JGSDF, the American-made tilt-rotor Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey will not be participating in the exercise. A US Air Force Osprey crashed in waters off Southwestern Japan in November last year, leading to the US and Japan to ground their entire fleet of the aircraft since December 7. shp/adj/dl (Pix:US Marine Corps)