US Army, Japan conduct cold weather training during North Wind 2024

By Sgt. Connor DavisFebruary 5, 2024

Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) members with HHC, 28th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, Northern Army give a demonstration on Japanese signal equipment to U.S. Paratroopers from HHC, 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 11th Airborne Division during North Wind 24, Jan. 24, 2024 on JGSDF Hokudai-en Training Area in Chitose, Hokkaido. North Wind is a bilateral cold-weather field training exercise held between the U.S. Army and JGSDF where the allies exchange tactics and techniques; this year’s exercise is the 31st North Wind.
1 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) members with HHC, 28th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, Northern Army give a demonstration on Japanese signal equipment to U.S. Paratroopers from HHC, 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 11th Airborne Division during North Wind 24, Jan. 24, 2024 on JGSDF Hokudai-en Training Area in Chitose, Hokkaido. North Wind is a bilateral cold-weather field training exercise held between the U.S. Army and JGSDF where the allies exchange tactics and techniques; this year’s exercise is the 31st North Wind. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Connor Davis) VIEW ORIGINAL
Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) members with 28th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, Northern Army give a demonstration of machine gun tactics under fire training on a Minimi 5.56mm Light Machine Gun to U.S. Paratroopers from Blackfoot Company, 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 11th Airborne Division during North Wind 24, Jan. 25, 2024 on JGSDF Hokudai-en Training Area in Chitose, Hokkaido. On Jan. 24, 2024 both the JGSDF members and U.S. Paratroopers showed each other the standard operating procedures for their respective machine gun teams to prepare for this live-fire training. North Wind is a bilateral cold-weather field training exercise held between the U.S. Army and JGSDF where the allies exchange tactics and techniques; this year’s exercise is the 31st North Wind.
2 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) members with 28th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, Northern Army give a demonstration of machine gun tactics under fire training on a Minimi 5.56mm Light Machine Gun to U.S. Paratroopers from Blackfoot Company, 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 11th Airborne Division during North Wind 24, Jan. 25, 2024 on JGSDF Hokudai-en Training Area in Chitose, Hokkaido. On Jan. 24, 2024 both the JGSDF members and U.S. Paratroopers showed each other the standard operating procedures for their respective machine gun teams to prepare for this live-fire training. North Wind is a bilateral cold-weather field training exercise held between the U.S. Army and JGSDF where the allies exchange tactics and techniques; this year’s exercise is the 31st North Wind. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Connor Davis) VIEW ORIGINAL
Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) members with Heavy Mortar Platoon, HQ Company, 28th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, Northern Army train U.S. Paratroopers from Blackfoot Company, 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 11th Airborne Division on the use of JGSDF laser range finders during North Wind 24, Jan. 24, 2024 on JGSDF Hokudai-en Training Area in Chitose, Hokkaido. North Wind is a bilateral cold-weather field training exercise held between the U.S. Army and JGSDF where the allies exchange tactics and techniques; this year’s exercise is the 31st North Wind.
3 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) members with Heavy Mortar Platoon, HQ Company, 28th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, Northern Army train U.S. Paratroopers from Blackfoot Company, 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 11th Airborne Division on the use of JGSDF laser range finders during North Wind 24, Jan. 24, 2024 on JGSDF Hokudai-en Training Area in Chitose, Hokkaido. North Wind is a bilateral cold-weather field training exercise held between the U.S. Army and JGSDF where the allies exchange tactics and techniques; this year’s exercise is the 31st North Wind. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Connor Davis) VIEW ORIGINAL
Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) members with Heavy Mortar Platoon, HQ Company, 28th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, Northern Army train U.S. Paratroopers from Blackfoot Company, 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 11th Airborne Division on the use of JGSDF mortars during North Wind 24, Jan. 24, 2024 on JGSDF Hokudai-en Training Area in Chitose, Hokkaido. North Wind is a bilateral cold-weather field training exercise held between the U.S. Army and JGSDF where the allies exchange tactics and techniques; this year’s exercise is the 31st North Wind.
4 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) members with Heavy Mortar Platoon, HQ Company, 28th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, Northern Army train U.S. Paratroopers from Blackfoot Company, 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 11th Airborne Division on the use of JGSDF mortars during North Wind 24, Jan. 24, 2024 on JGSDF Hokudai-en Training Area in Chitose, Hokkaido. North Wind is a bilateral cold-weather field training exercise held between the U.S. Army and JGSDF where the allies exchange tactics and techniques; this year’s exercise is the 31st North Wind. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Connor Davis) VIEW ORIGINAL
Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) members with Heavy Mortar Platoon, HQ Company, 28th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, Northern Army give a demonstration on the use of JGSDF mortars to U.S. Paratroopers from Blackfoot Company, 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 11th Airborne Division during North Wind 24, Jan. 24, 2024 on JGSDF Hokudai-en Training Area in Chitose, Hokkaido. North Wind is a bilateral cold-weather field training exercise held between the U.S. Army and JGSDF where the allies exchange tactics and techniques; this year’s exercise is the 31st North Wind.
5 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) members with Heavy Mortar Platoon, HQ Company, 28th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, Northern Army give a demonstration on the use of JGSDF mortars to U.S. Paratroopers from Blackfoot Company, 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 11th Airborne Division during North Wind 24, Jan. 24, 2024 on JGSDF Hokudai-en Training Area in Chitose, Hokkaido. North Wind is a bilateral cold-weather field training exercise held between the U.S. Army and JGSDF where the allies exchange tactics and techniques; this year’s exercise is the 31st North Wind. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Connor Davis) VIEW ORIGINAL

HOKKAIDO, Japan — A closing ceremony hosted by the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force Northern Army was held marking the completion of North Wind 2024 at Camp Higashi-Chitose, Jan. 31.

Over 150 U.S. Soldiers and 650 JGSDF members participated in this exercise, which was the 31st iteration of North Wind. The bilateral cold-weather field training exercise gives the allied nations a chance to share their respective tactics, techniques and procedures with each other and develop their forces’ experience in new environments.

The U.S. Army was represented by paratroopers with 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 11th Airborne Division from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, who also participated in the last full exercise, North Wind 2015.

“I really enjoyed working out here with the JGSDF — I feel like we learned a lot from them, and we shared a lot of knowledge in return,” said Spc. Dalton Crisp, M240 machine gunner for Blackfoot Company’s second platoon. “You never know what you’re going to learn, or who you’ll learn it from; coming (from Alaska) over the Pacific for an exercise in another country can seem a bit daunting for some, but when you keep an open mind you’ll find you learn a lot.”

Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) members with 28th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, Northern Army train with U.S. Paratroopers from 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 11th Airborne Division, showing them proper techniques on how to ride skis while being dragged by a JGSDF Type 10 Snowcat during North Wind 24, Jan. 23, 2024 on JGSDF Hokudai-en Training Area in Chitose, Hokkaido. Traveling behind a Snowcat on skis allows infantry to quickly and efficiently patrol large distances while able to break off for tactical movement over snow and rugged terrain. North Wind is a bilateral cold-weather field training exercise held between the U.S. Army and JGSDF where the allies exchange tactics and techniques; this year’s exercise is the 31st North Wind.
1 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) members with 28th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, Northern Army train with U.S. Paratroopers from 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 11th Airborne Division, showing them proper techniques on how to ride skis while being dragged by a JGSDF Type 10 Snowcat during North Wind 24, Jan. 23, 2024 on JGSDF Hokudai-en Training Area in Chitose, Hokkaido. Traveling behind a Snowcat on skis allows infantry to quickly and efficiently patrol large distances while able to break off for tactical movement over snow and rugged terrain. North Wind is a bilateral cold-weather field training exercise held between the U.S. Army and JGSDF where the allies exchange tactics and techniques; this year’s exercise is the 31st North Wind. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Connor Davis) VIEW ORIGINAL
U.S. Paratroopers from 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 11th Airborne Division, practice proper techniques on riding skis while being dragged by a Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) Type 10 Snowcat after being shown how by JGSDF members with 28th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, Northern Army during North Wind 24, Jan. 23, 2024 on JGSDF Hokudai-en Training Area in Chitose, Hokkaido. Traveling behind a Snowcat on skis allows infantry to quickly and efficiently patrol large distances while able to break off for tactical movement over snow and rugged terrain. North Wind is a bilateral cold-weather field training exercise held between the U.S. Army and JGSDF where the allies exchange tactics and techniques; this year’s exercise is the 31st North Wind.
2 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Paratroopers from 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 11th Airborne Division, practice proper techniques on riding skis while being dragged by a Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) Type 10 Snowcat after being shown how by JGSDF members with 28th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, Northern Army during North Wind 24, Jan. 23, 2024 on JGSDF Hokudai-en Training Area in Chitose, Hokkaido. Traveling behind a Snowcat on skis allows infantry to quickly and efficiently patrol large distances while able to break off for tactical movement over snow and rugged terrain. North Wind is a bilateral cold-weather field training exercise held between the U.S. Army and JGSDF where the allies exchange tactics and techniques; this year’s exercise is the 31st North Wind. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Connor Davis) VIEW ORIGINAL
Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) members with 28th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, Northern Army train with U.S. Paratroopers from 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 11th Airborne Division, showing them proper techniques on how to ride skis while being dragged by a JGSDF Type 10 Snowcat during North Wind 24, Jan. 23, 2024 on JGSDF Hokudai-en Training Area in Chitose, Hokkaido. Traveling behind a Snowcat on skis allows infantry to quickly and efficiently patrol large distances while able to break off for tactical movement over snow and rugged terrain. North Wind is a bilateral cold-weather field training exercise held between the U.S. Army and JGSDF where the allies exchange tactics and techniques; this year’s exercise is the 31st North Wind.
3 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) members with 28th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, Northern Army train with U.S. Paratroopers from 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 11th Airborne Division, showing them proper techniques on how to ride skis while being dragged by a JGSDF Type 10 Snowcat during North Wind 24, Jan. 23, 2024 on JGSDF Hokudai-en Training Area in Chitose, Hokkaido. Traveling behind a Snowcat on skis allows infantry to quickly and efficiently patrol large distances while able to break off for tactical movement over snow and rugged terrain. North Wind is a bilateral cold-weather field training exercise held between the U.S. Army and JGSDF where the allies exchange tactics and techniques; this year’s exercise is the 31st North Wind. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Connor Davis) VIEW ORIGINAL
Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) members with 28th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, Northern Army train give a demonstration on proper technique to ride skis while being dragged by a JGSDF Type 10 Snowcat to U.S. Paratroopers from 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 11th Airborne Division during North Wind 24, Jan. 23, 2024 on JGSDF Hokudai-en Training Area in Chitose, Hokkaido. Traveling behind a Snowcat on skis allows infantry to quickly and efficiently patrol large distances while able to break off for tactical movement over snow and rugged terrain. North Wind is a bilateral cold-weather field training exercise held between the U.S. Army and JGSDF where the allies exchange tactics and techniques; this year’s exercise is the 31st North Wind.
4 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) members with 28th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, Northern Army train give a demonstration on proper technique to ride skis while being dragged by a JGSDF Type 10 Snowcat to U.S. Paratroopers from 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 11th Airborne Division during North Wind 24, Jan. 23, 2024 on JGSDF Hokudai-en Training Area in Chitose, Hokkaido. Traveling behind a Snowcat on skis allows infantry to quickly and efficiently patrol large distances while able to break off for tactical movement over snow and rugged terrain. North Wind is a bilateral cold-weather field training exercise held between the U.S. Army and JGSDF where the allies exchange tactics and techniques; this year’s exercise is the 31st North Wind. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Connor Davis) VIEW ORIGINAL

Following the opening ceremony on Jan. 22, the units began cold weather training together, beginning with skiing and skijoring — skiing while towed by a JGSDF Type 10 Snowcat.

“Skiing and skijoring was my favorite event — it was really fun to do that with their skilled master skiers and instructors,” said Crisp.
“I was very impressed by how the JGSDF adapt to the winter in their training — their skiing and snowshoe training is very advanced,” said Staff Sgt. Riley Flink, platoon sergeant for Blackfoot Company’s third platoon.

The Soldiers and JGSDF members exchanged knowledge and techniques with their specialties, sharing their proficiency with tactical combat casualty care and medical evacuation, use of mortars and laser range finders, signal equipment and their respective firearms.

U.S. Paratroopers from HHC, 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 11th Airborne Division give a demonstration on U.S. Army Tactical Combat Casualty Care to Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) members with HHC, 28th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, Northern Army  during North Wind 24, Jan. 24, 2024 on JGSDF Hokudai-en Training Area in Chitose, Hokkaido. North Wind is a bilateral cold-weather field training exercise held between the U.S. Army and JGSDF where the allies exchange tactics and techniques; this year’s exercise is the 31st North Wind.
1 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Paratroopers from HHC, 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 11th Airborne Division give a demonstration on U.S. Army Tactical Combat Casualty Care to Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) members with HHC, 28th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, Northern Army during North Wind 24, Jan. 24, 2024 on JGSDF Hokudai-en Training Area in Chitose, Hokkaido. North Wind is a bilateral cold-weather field training exercise held between the U.S. Army and JGSDF where the allies exchange tactics and techniques; this year’s exercise is the 31st North Wind. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Connor Davis) VIEW ORIGINAL
Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) members with HHC, 28th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, Northern Army give a demonstration on Japanese Tactical Combat Casualty Care to U.S. Paratroopers from HHC, 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 11th Airborne Division during North Wind 24, Jan. 24, 2024 on JGSDF Hokudai-en Training Area in Chitose, Hokkaido. North Wind is a bilateral cold-weather field training exercise held between the U.S. Army and JGSDF where the allies exchange tactics and techniques; this year’s exercise is the 31st North Wind.
2 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) members with HHC, 28th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, Northern Army give a demonstration on Japanese Tactical Combat Casualty Care to U.S. Paratroopers from HHC, 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 11th Airborne Division during North Wind 24, Jan. 24, 2024 on JGSDF Hokudai-en Training Area in Chitose, Hokkaido. North Wind is a bilateral cold-weather field training exercise held between the U.S. Army and JGSDF where the allies exchange tactics and techniques; this year’s exercise is the 31st North Wind. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Connor Davis) VIEW ORIGINAL
Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) members with HHC, 28th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, Northern Army give a demonstration on Japanese Tactical Combat Casualty Care to U.S. Paratroopers from HHC, 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 11th Airborne Division during North Wind 24, Jan. 24, 2024 on JGSDF Hokudai-en Training Area in Chitose, Hokkaido. North Wind is a bilateral cold-weather field training exercise held between the U.S. Army and JGSDF where the allies exchange tactics and techniques; this year’s exercise is the 31st North Wind.
3 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) members with HHC, 28th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, Northern Army give a demonstration on Japanese Tactical Combat Casualty Care to U.S. Paratroopers from HHC, 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 11th Airborne Division during North Wind 24, Jan. 24, 2024 on JGSDF Hokudai-en Training Area in Chitose, Hokkaido. North Wind is a bilateral cold-weather field training exercise held between the U.S. Army and JGSDF where the allies exchange tactics and techniques; this year’s exercise is the 31st North Wind. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Connor Davis) VIEW ORIGINAL
Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) members with HHC, 28th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, Northern Army give a demonstration on Japanese Tactical Combat Casualty Care to U.S. Paratroopers from HHC, 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 11th Airborne Division during North Wind 24, Jan. 24, 2024 on JGSDF Hokudai-en Training Area in Chitose, Hokkaido. North Wind is a bilateral cold-weather field training exercise held between the U.S. Army and JGSDF where the allies exchange tactics and techniques; this year’s exercise is the 31st North Wind.
4 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) members with HHC, 28th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, Northern Army give a demonstration on Japanese Tactical Combat Casualty Care to U.S. Paratroopers from HHC, 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 11th Airborne Division during North Wind 24, Jan. 24, 2024 on JGSDF Hokudai-en Training Area in Chitose, Hokkaido. North Wind is a bilateral cold-weather field training exercise held between the U.S. Army and JGSDF where the allies exchange tactics and techniques; this year’s exercise is the 31st North Wind. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Connor Davis) VIEW ORIGINAL

After covering tactics and use of firearms, the live-fire ranges focused on real-world scenarios, such as moving as a squad and returning fire during snowy and icy conditions. The allies shared their sniping techniques, and a display by the JGSDF showed how their machine gunners move on skis to advance position while receiving enemy fire.

“It was great to see a comparison of how they run machine gun ranges, compared to ours,” said Flink. “Our Soldiers better appreciate the relationship we have with the JGSDF — there’s a lot we’ve taught each other during the exercise. The Soldiers definitely had a great time out here.”

Competition was held where squads with both allies tested their speed and marksmanship, with squad members running across snow 50 yards and back, loading their weapons and firing on targets 30 yards away. Crowds of Soldiers and JGSDF cheered for their comrades as each squad participated in the contest.

A U.S. Paratrooper with Blackfoot Company, 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 11th Airborne Division give a demonstration of close quarters marksmanship training on M4 Carbines to Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) members with 28th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, Northern Army during North Wind 24, Jan. 25, 2024 on JGSDF Hokudai-en Training Area in Chitose, Hokkaido. North Wind is a bilateral cold-weather field training exercise held between the U.S. Army and JGSDF where the allies exchange tactics and techniques; this year’s exercise is the 31st North Wind.
1 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A U.S. Paratrooper with Blackfoot Company, 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 11th Airborne Division give a demonstration of close quarters marksmanship training on M4 Carbines to Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) members with 28th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, Northern Army during North Wind 24, Jan. 25, 2024 on JGSDF Hokudai-en Training Area in Chitose, Hokkaido. North Wind is a bilateral cold-weather field training exercise held between the U.S. Army and JGSDF where the allies exchange tactics and techniques; this year’s exercise is the 31st North Wind. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Connor Davis) VIEW ORIGINAL
Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) members with HHC, 28th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, Northern Army and U.S. Paratroopers from HHC, 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 11th Airborne Division take pictures together following a demonstration on Japanese signal equipment during North Wind 24, Jan. 24, 2024 on JGSDF Hokudai-en Training Area in Chitose, Hokkaido. North Wind is a bilateral cold-weather field training exercise held between the U.S. Army and JGSDF where the allies exchange tactics and techniques; this year’s exercise is the 31st North Wind.
2 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) members with HHC, 28th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, Northern Army and U.S. Paratroopers from HHC, 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 11th Airborne Division take pictures together following a demonstration on Japanese signal equipment during North Wind 24, Jan. 24, 2024 on JGSDF Hokudai-en Training Area in Chitose, Hokkaido. North Wind is a bilateral cold-weather field training exercise held between the U.S. Army and JGSDF where the allies exchange tactics and techniques; this year’s exercise is the 31st North Wind. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Connor Davis) VIEW ORIGINAL
U.S. Paratroopers from Blackfoot Company, 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 11th Airborne Division give a demonstration of close quarters marksmanship training on M4 Carbines to Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) members with 28th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, Northern Army during North Wind 24, Jan. 25, 2024 on JGSDF Hokudai-en Training Area in Chitose, Hokkaido. North Wind is a bilateral cold-weather field training exercise held between the U.S. Army and JGSDF where the allies exchange tactics and techniques; this year’s exercise is the 31st North Wind.
3 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Paratroopers from Blackfoot Company, 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 11th Airborne Division give a demonstration of close quarters marksmanship training on M4 Carbines to Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) members with 28th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, Northern Army during North Wind 24, Jan. 25, 2024 on JGSDF Hokudai-en Training Area in Chitose, Hokkaido. North Wind is a bilateral cold-weather field training exercise held between the U.S. Army and JGSDF where the allies exchange tactics and techniques; this year’s exercise is the 31st North Wind. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Connor Davis) VIEW ORIGINAL
U.S. Paratroopers from Blackfoot Company, 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 11th Airborne Division give a demonstration of sniper rifle marksmanship training on M110A1 Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper Systems to Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) members with 28th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, Northern Army during North Wind 24, Jan. 25, 2024 on JGSDF Hokudai-en Training Area in Chitose, Hokkaido. On Jan. 24, 2024 both the JGSDF members and U.S. Paratroopers showed each other the standard operating procedures for their respective sniper teams to prepare for this live-fire training. North Wind is a bilateral cold-weather field training exercise held between the U.S. Army and JGSDF where the allies exchange tactics and techniques; this year’s exercise is the 31st North Wind.
4 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Paratroopers from Blackfoot Company, 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 11th Airborne Division give a demonstration of sniper rifle marksmanship training on M110A1 Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper Systems to Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) members with 28th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, Northern Army during North Wind 24, Jan. 25, 2024 on JGSDF Hokudai-en Training Area in Chitose, Hokkaido. On Jan. 24, 2024 both the JGSDF members and U.S. Paratroopers showed each other the standard operating procedures for their respective sniper teams to prepare for this live-fire training. North Wind is a bilateral cold-weather field training exercise held between the U.S. Army and JGSDF where the allies exchange tactics and techniques; this year’s exercise is the 31st North Wind. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Connor Davis) VIEW ORIGINAL

“Building camaraderie through competition, it makes for a stronger fighting force,” said Sgt. James Markloff, squad leader for Blackfoot Company’s second platoon. “Our Japanese allies, they’re a formidable force — they’re very big on discipline, very similar focus on training. Some things we’re better at, some things they’re better at, and it’s great to see ‘who’s boss’ head-to-head.”

Squads representing both sides won different iterations of the contest, showing the remarkable proficiency held by both of the ally nations.

“My Soldiers learned a lot (from the JGSDF members) during fortification training,” said Markloff. “We shared the ones we use in Anchorage, and we were shown new techniques by the allies. Seeing how they hold up in real time gives a new perspective on fighting in the arctic.”

The forces transitioned into a field exercise, where the troops applied the skills they had trained on in a practical scenario, marching on skis while equipped with their weapons and dragging sleds over seven miles before camping. During the field exercise, the focus was a mock attack by U.S. Paratroopers against a defense consisting of a bilateral force made of JGSDF members and U.S. Paratroopers.

“The (JGSDF members) were really nice, really accepting — and they’re pretty funny too,” said Crisp. “They’re the same as us infantrymen, they laugh at and make the same jokes as us, they’re always ready to jump in and help, and do whatever it takes to get the job done. Being so compatible with each other, it helps us to put the mission first and succeed.”