Keen Sword 2017

News
A 36th Airlift Squadron C-130 Hercules pilot flies over Japan during Keen Sword 2017, Nov. 10, 2016. Originating in 1986, Keen Sword has been a routine military training exercise between the U.S. and Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Donald Hudson/Released)
A 36th Airlift Squadron C-130 Hercules pilot flies over Japan during Keen Sword 2017, Nov. 10, 2016. Originating in 1986, Keen Sword has been a routine military training exercise between the U.S. and Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Donald Hudson/Released)

Keen Sword 2017

by: Senior Airman Delano Scott, 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs | .
.
published: November 17, 2016
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan --Members from the Japan Self-Defense Forces and United States Forces, Japan, came together for Keen Sword 2017 at Yokota Air Base, Japan, from Oct. 30 – Nov. 11, 2016.

 

KS17 involved U.S. forces and the JSDF from all components of both militaries, training to conduct bilateral operations in support of the defense of Japan.

“Operational readiness is a guiding principle for U.S. Forces, Japan,” said Lt. Gen. Jerry Martinez, U.S. Forces, Japan and 5th Air Force commander. “KS17 is an opportunity to increase readiness by providing a realistic training environment for U.S. forces and the JSDF to practice, evaluate and improve our coordination procedures and interoperability requirements.”

At Yokota, U.S. military and JSDF members participated in variety of training exercises, each designed to increase combat readiness and interoperability within the framework of the U.S.-Japan alliance.

“During the first week of Keen Sword, we held a pair of Subject Matter Expert Exchange events between the 374th Operations Group and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, 1st Airborne Brigade, from Camp Narashino in Chiba prefecture,” said Capt. James McKinney, 374th OG C-130 instructor navigator. “The events focused around an exchange of professional knowledge between airborne-qualified soldiers and jumpmasters.”

This was the first time U.S. Air Force and JGSDF jumpmasters at Camp Narashino participate in bilateral SMEE.

The second week of Keen Sword focused on preparing and airdropping container delivery system bundles. In a collaborative effort, the 374th Logistics Readiness Squadron combat mobility flight offered up space in their hanger to accommodate JGSDF personnel to build their CDS bundles. 

“After the bundles were built and our Joint Airdrop Inspectors made their final safety inspections, we airdropped the bundles on Nov. 10.”

During the exercise, U.S. military and JASDF members also participated in C-17 Globemaster III tie-down training and UH-1N Iroquois night flight familiarization.

McKinney said that exercises such as KE17 provide an indispensable real-world training environment for enhancing mutual understanding of each country's tactics, communication protocols, procedures and general interoperability.

 

“This exercise has given us confidence that in whatever contingency, we will be able to use the maximum amount of resources available to respond,” McKinney said. “With the relationships we built at Keen Sword, we can, in the future, work together more effectively. Keen Sword offered us flexibility in how to respond to contingencies while also giving us the proof that we can all cooperate to accomplish the same mission.”

Tags: Yokota Air Base, News
Related Content: No related content is available