U.S. military facilities host 15th Brigade JGSDF during Guard and Protect 17

by Marine Corps Installations Pacific
Stripes Okinawa

CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA, Japan—U.S. military and members of the 15th Brigade, Japan Ground Self-Defense Force conducted the annual Guard and Protect exercise Dec. 6-8 aboard U.S. Installations on Okinawa.

The purpose of this exercise is to enhance the interoperability between the two forces, enabling them to understand and exchange tactical procedures and operational concepts.

“I’m excited because Guard and Protect is a great step in building stronger partnerships,” said Col. Mark Coppess, the commanding officer of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma. “It allows us to have a familiarity and close bond that comes from training together. We have a strong working relationship with the JGSDF and today is a great example of that.”

According to Cpl. Benjamin Hernandez with 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, III Marines Expeditionary Force, exercises like this ensure U.S. forces and members of the 15th Brigade can communicate effectively and work together seamlessly.

Despite the language barrier Marines and the 15th Brigade were able to effectively execute their missions.

“It helps us improve our English ability and create a good relationship with U.S. forces.” Sgt. 1st Class Wataru Taniguchi with 1st Company, 51st Infantry Regiment, 15th Brigade, JGSDF.

Military leadership from U.S. forces and 15th Brigade took this opportunity to strengthen their relationships.

“The Guard and Protect exercise conducted between U.S. Joint forces on Okinawa and the JGSDF 15th Brigade is essential training that will enable alliance partners to work together effectively,” said Brig. Gen. Paul Rock, the commanding general of Marine Corps Installations Pacific. “Knowing how each other operates, and ensuring we can work together, is an ongoing process and the G&P exercise is one of the major elements in that effort.

Photo Caption:

CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA, Japan – Military leadership from U.S. Forces and 15th Brigade Japan Ground Self-Defense Force pose for a photo during Guard and Protect 17 Dec. 7 aboard Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan. The purpose of G&P is to enhance the interoperability between the two forces, enabling them to understand and exchange tactical procedures and operational concepts. During the exercise, leadership took this opportunity to strengthen their relationships.

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