US and Japan complete exercise Keen Sword 21

6 November 2020 (Last Updated November 6th, 2020 12:40)

The US Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) units and the Japan Self-Defense Force completed exercise Keen Sword 21 (KS21) on 5 November.

US and Japan complete exercise Keen Sword 21
US Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ships sail in formation to kick off exercise Keen Sword on 26 October. Credit: US Navy/Lt.j.g Samuel Hardgrove.

The US Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) units and the Japan Self-Defense Force completed exercise Keen Sword 21 (KS21) on 5 November.

The exercise was carried out on military installations in mainland Japan, Okinawa prefecture, and the surrounding waters.

KS21, which is a joint-bilateral field training exercise (FTX), saw participation from the US Navy, Air Force, Army, and Marine Corps.

It included maritime operations, amphibious landings, air operations, resupply efforts, integrated air and missile defence (IAMD) exercises, cyber and space operations, and base security events.

US Forces Japan commander Lt Gen Kevin Schneider said: “Keen Sword was a tremendous success with respect to operating and integrating with our allies.

“By learning from and working alongside each other, not only did we improve our joint and bilateral capabilities, we once again demonstrated our unwavering resolve to the US-Japan Alliance, which has been the foundation of peace, stability, and security in the Indo-Pacific region for the past 60 years.”

During the 11 day exercise, around 9,000 US and 37,000 JSDF forces carried out the training.

The US assets that took part included the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group and Commander Task Force 73 ships, USS Ashland (LSD 48) and HMCS Winnipeg (FFH 338).

Aircraft from Carrier Air Wing 5, Commander Task Force 72, 5th Air Force, as well as ground forces from US Army Japan and air and ground forces from III Marine Expeditionary Force also participated.

Last month, the UK-led multinational exercise Joint Warrior (JW) 20-2, involving military personnel from 13 countries, concluded in the Atlantic Ocean.