OKINAWA, Japan – Bravo Battery, 1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment, conducted bilateral air and missile defense training at Camp Amami with Japan Ground Self-Defense Force’s 8th Anti-Aircraft Artillery during Orient Shield 21-2 to enhance interoperability and test and refine multi-domain and cross-domain operations June 7 to July 10.
U.S. Marine Corps vessel USNS Guam transported Bravo Battery’s Minimum Engagement Package consisting of two U.S. Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) systems, a radar unit, and an engagement control station with more than 20 Soldiers from Naha Port to Amami Island.
“Here at Camp Amami, a JGSDF mid-range surface to air missile unit and a U.S. Patriot missile unit are conducting bilateral air defense training,” said Gen. Yoshihide Yoshida, chief of staff, JGSDF. “The security environment surrounding Japan has become increasingly severe. Whatever happens, the Japan-U.S. land component will cooperate closely to enhance deterrent and operational capability and contribute to the peace and stability of the Indo-Pacific region.”
Bravo Battery Soldiers set up a Patriot tactical site and established a bilateral command post, facilitating the synchronization of U.S. Army PAC-3 and JGSDF Type O3 Chu-SAM air and missile defense systems in an Anti-Access Area Denial scenario.
"Our unit was able to expeditiously relocate defensive resources and create a regionally layered air defense network with bilateral partners," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Nicholas Pape, air and missile defense systems tactician with Battery B, 1-1 ADA. "We've learned what capabilities we can offer each other and also how we can integrate together to provide combined air pictures and a combined defense of the Indo-Pacific region."
The two firing units integrated and conducted air defense operations, identifying aerial threats within a shared airspace in simulated air battle scenarios.
"These integrated air and missile defense operations carried on for a week," said Pape.
The bilateral training drew attention from multiple Japanese news agencies. In addition, Bravo Battery Soldiers were also visited by Yoshida, Brig. Gen. JB Vowell, commander, U.S. Army Japan and Lt. Col. Anthony B. Falcon, battalion commander, 1-1 ADA.
OS21-2 strengthened U.S. Army and JGSDF interoperability and demonstrated both countries commitments to the U.S.-Japan alliance and the security of the Indo-Pacific region.