France, US, Australia and Japanese forces start Jeanne D'Arc 21 exercise
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France, US, Australia and Japanese forces start Jeanne D’Arc 21 exercise

13 May 2021 (Last Updated May 13th, 2021 12:24)

The armed forces of Japan, France, the US and Australia have started multilateral exercise Jeanne D’Arc (ARC) 21.

France, US, Australia and Japanese forces start Jeanne D’Arc 21 exercise
American, Japanese, French and Australian troops pose for a picture after the opening ceremony for exercise Jeanne D’Arc 21. Credit: Lance Cpl. Sebastian Riveraapon.

The Japan Self Defense Force (JSDF), French Armed Forces, Australian Defence Force (ADF), and the US military are participating in a multilateral exercise called ‘Jeanne D’Arc 21’.

The exercise is being held in Camp Ainoura, Sasebo, Japan, and will run until 16 May. It is aimed at enhancing interoperable warfighting capability.

Jeanne D’Arc 21 is designed to provide an opportunity to the participating forces to share experiences, tactics, as well as best practices to jointly enhance their skills.

The US Navy’s San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS New Orleans (LPD 18) joined the participating troops for the exercise.

During the event, soldiers of US reconnaissance Marines and Japan Ground Self-Defense Forces Special Forces, the maritime warfare branch of the JSDF, will closely monitor the objective in preparation for follow-on forces.

After that, USMC MV-22 Osprey aircraft will ‘insert’ French infantry forces from the FS Tonnerre, and JGSDF CH-47 aircraft will transport JSDF forces ‘with embedded marines from Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company’ (ANGLICO) to provide fire support for the multilateral raid force.

The 3rd Marine Logistics Group 3d Landing Support Battalion lieutenant colonel Jeremy Nelson said: “This exercise, by bringing together our air, land, and maritime forces to increase our ability to jointly respond to crises across the range of military operations, is yet another demonstration of our rapidly growing constellation of partners, all united by the common goal of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

“It is commonly said that we train alongside our partners and allies in peace to be ready to fight alongside them in war, and exercises like ARC-21 are the best example of this.”

The exercise has been conducted following stringent Covid mitigation measures to protect all participating troops and the local communities.

It strengthens the relationship between the US, Japan, France, and Australia in defence of a free and open Indo-Pacific.