Generals visit their Forces
October 20, 2011
KITA-FUJI TRAINING AREA, JAPAN --Soldiers of the 3rd Battalion, 141st Infantry Regiment and the 1st Division, Eastern Army, Ground Self-Defense Force continued their bilateral training during Orient Shield 11, as a special visit by two commanders joined the exercise in order to get a better understanding of what was being conducted at Kita-Fuji, in Lake Yamanaka Village, in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan, Oct. 18.
General Eiji Kimizuka, the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force Chief of Staff at the ground staff office in Ichigaya, Tokyo, Japan joined Maj. Gen. Michael T. Harrison, Sr., a Surry, Va., native, and the commander of the United States Army Japan, I Corpse (Forward), out of Camp Zama, Zama City, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, joined in watching a slideshow of what the two forces have conducted during Orient Shield and then went to multiple tents in to visit with the commanders of the forces.
"As commander of the United States Army Japan I corps (forward), it is important to come out with my staff to observe training being conducted by any Soldier from the U.S. Army as well as the work that we are doing with the Japanese ground self defense force, said Harrison.
Harrison said any opportunity the Soldiers can train with the members of an allied nation enhances the two forces capabilities to work together and prepare them to respond to the contingencies that they are required to respond to.
The training has to be successful because any mission that happens in this particular area will have help from an allied nation, he said.
"In this particular instance, the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force is our partners," said Harrison. "The more training we conduct together the better we will be to achieve the objectives given to us by our respected nations."
Prior to the arrival of the two forces neither of them had met and they have now forged a strong bond that has led to friendship, he said. The Soldiers and the JGSDF members have a great deal of respect for each others' capabilities and they continue to share what they have learned from each other, said Harrison.
"I am very impressed with the high quality of training being done by our Army Soldiers from the Texas National Guard, but more importantly, I am impressed with how they are working with the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force counterparts," said Harrison.