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Tuesday, May 28th, 2024

U.S. Marines Corps touts Iron Fist exercise completion

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Marine Corps personnel are espousing the benefits of the recently completed Japan-based Iron Fist exercise, which increases interoperability between several military entities.

The Japan Self-Defense Force and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) participated in the exercise. The endeavor included
Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) ships for the first time, conducting rehearsals and integration with the 31st MEU and 1st Amphibious Rapid Deployment Regiment throughout the exercise.

The scope included conducting combined amphibious operations involving counter-piracy and search and rescue operations, with the JMSDF tank landing ship JS Osumi (LST-4001) and the America Amphibious Ready Group swapping landing craft, air cushions, conducting combined amphibious reconnaissance and performing a combined amphibious landing on the island of Tokunoshima during the exercise.

The final event was an amphibious landing at Okinawa between the JMSDF, JGSDF, and Marines and Sailors simulating a combined response to provide security in a crisis.

“I was impressed with what I saw,” Marine Corps Col. Matthew Danner, 31st MEU commanding officer, said. “What you are seeing is cooperation and partnership in a complex situation between U.S. Marines and the JSDF as a whole. Our combined crisis response capabilities continue to enhance deterrence and build on security in the region.”

Navy Lt. Cmdr. Chandler Getz, the 31st MEU surgeon, said the ability of quick, seamless bilateral medevac procedures demonstrates crisis response capabilities.

“Combined medical operations allow us to learn best practices and integrate as a more robust and capable united crisis response force,” he said.