This exercise has been conducted since JSDF shifted to a joint operational structure in 2006, and this is the 15th time it has been conducted. This exercise alternates between a live drill and a command post drill every year, and this year, however, for the first time, the live drill and the command post drill are conducted in coordination.
According to the Ministry of Defense (MOD), the exercise will cover the following topics,
・Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD)
・Joint anti-ship strike
・Joint logistics supply
・Cooperation in space situational awareness (SSA)
・Response to cyber attacks
・Joint electronic warfare
・Training for command post operations
In addition to the JSDF, the U.S. Marine Corps also participated in the joint anti-ship strike. On November 24, two Marine KC-130s arrived at JMSDF’s Kanoya Air Base in Kagoshima Prefecture in the Kyushu region of Japan, and two Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTV) and about 20 personnel were deployed from them. The JLTV is supposed to simulate the Navy Marine Expeditionary Ship Interdiction System (NMESIS), an unmanned anti-ship missile system that the Marine Corps is planning to deploy in the future. The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) also participated with its Type 88 and Type 12 surface-to-ship missiles (SSM).
On Tanegashima Island, also located in the southern part of Kagoshima Prefecture, the Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade (ARDB) of the JGSDF and the Mine Warfare Force of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) collaborated to conduct training on amphibious operations. The Mine Warfare Force, as its name suggests, originally developed as a specialized unit for mine warfare. However, in 2016, Landing Ship Division 1, which deploys three Osumi class tank landing ships, was added to the force, and in October 2020, the organization was modified to include amphibious operations in its mission. For this reason, the Mine Warfare Force now has an Amphibious and Mine Warfare Center (AMWC) as a unit to educate and support the force on amphibious operations and mine warfare.
In addition, personnel from the Ground, Maritime, and Air Self-Defense Forces were dispatched to the JMSDF destroyer (DDH) Ise to collaborate on aircraft operations, and the JMSDF destroyer (DD) Sazanami conducted ground fire targeting uninhabited islands. In parallel with this exercise, the JMSDF is also conducting a large-scale exercise (ANNUALEX) involving units from the US, Australian, Canadian, and German navies, as well as a joint US-Japan minesweeping exercise, meaning that the JSDF is conducting all kinds of training in and around Japan.