JGSDF officers tour Marine Corps facilities
Camp Schwab, Okinawa, Japan -- Japan Ground Self-Defense Force officers toured Marine Corps facilities July 12 at Camps Schwab and Hansen as part of the Japan observer exchange program.
The JGSDF officers arrived at Camp Schwab to receive briefings from Combat Assault Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, and view its assault amphibious vehicles.
“The JOEP members came here to inquire about the capabilities of the AAV platform,” said Capt. John S. Kim, AAV Company commander with CAB. “They want to know how the vehicles are employed and what their capabilities are in oceanic and land-based exercises.”
The JOEP members listened intently to the Marines, so that they could adapt certain aspects of amphibious assaults for their own joint exercises, according to Kim.
Kim answered the officers’ questions while leading them on a hands-on tour of the vehicles.
“In the future, we will be handling equipment similar to what the Marines have, so it was good to have this opportunity,” said JGSDF Maj. Kazuya Aizawa, a technical administrator with the JGSDF.
After touring the AAVs, the JGSDF officers traveled to Camp Hansen where 5th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, III Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, III MEF, instructed them on fire support capabilities.
“The JGSDF officers were given a basic overview of how fire support works within the Marine Corps,” said Capt. Jared J. Cooper, a fire control team leader with 5th ANGLICO. “They learned about the command structure of fire support teams, fire support coordination centers and supporting arms liaison teams.
“All these units work at different levels of a command to help coordinate fire support among various units.”
After the presentation, the JGSDF officers went to the supporting arms virtual trainer where they experienced a simulated call for fire.
“I was very impressed with the Marines' state-of-the-art equipment such as the SAVT,” said Aizawa. “It allowed us to get a better understanding of how everything ties together to get the mission accomplished.”
Throughout the day, the two services interacted with each other to establish a better understanding of the equipment used by Marines, according to Aizawa.
At the end of the day, the JGSDF officers were very appreciative for the knowledge passed on to them so they could increase their own military readiness, according to Cooper.
“Everything went exceptionally well, and it is always good to do this type of bilateral knowledge sharing,” said Cooper. “They are our allies, and I hope they gained something from us today for future use.”