Japanese and American Forces work together in bi-lateral exercise
SASEBO, Japan (Nov. 9, 2015) – Commander Fleet Activities Sasebo and the Japan Self-Defense Force completed bi-lateral exercise Guard and Protect 2015. The exercise was held onboard CFA Sasebo and in the base’s surrounding waters, Nov. 2-6, 2015.
CFAS Security Department, Japan Ground Self-Defense Force 16th Infantry Regiment and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force participated in the exercise’s tenth iteration.
Guard and Protect is a Status of Forces Agreement program established between the U.S. and Japanese government to help protect specific critical U.S. assets during heightened force protection conditions. U.S. and Japanese forces conduct annual bilateral exercises such as Guard and Protect to integrate forces, test response plans, smooth lines of communication, and enhance mutual cooperation.
“The U.S.-Japan alliance has been the foundation of peace and security in the region, deeply rooted in mutual trust, understanding, support, and cooperation,” said Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Col. Koji Sato, commander 16th Infantry Regiment.
Guard and Protect scenarios helped train U.S. and Japanese forces to minimize enemy effects on critical infrastructure and port operations while denying significant impacts to the local populace. The exercise included 40 scenarios that ranged from active shooters, discovering and handling improvised explosive devices, fraudulent attempts to gain access to the base and small boat attacks.
“With recent changes in our defense framework this Guard and Protect exercise is even more important than in years past,” said CFAS Commanding Officer Capt. Matthew Ovios. “Continuing to build the U.S. Navy relations with Japanese Self-Defense Forces is an important step forward as we work together in the defense of Japan.”
CFA Sasebo enables 13 forward-deployed naval forces and 26 tenant commands across 11 geographic locations supporting a community of 7,000 Sailors, civilians, and family members.