Resolute Dragon 21 involves thousands of direct participants spread across nine locations over almost the entirety of Japan with nearly 2,650 Marines from across III MEF representing all functions of the Fleet Marine Force. Participating aircraft from 1st Marine Aircraft Wing include multiple MV-22B Ospreys, CH-53E Stallions, AH-1Z Vipers, UH-1Y Venom, F/A-18E Hornets, and KC-130J Hercules. In addition to the USMC and JGSDF personnel, hundreds of US Navy and US Air Force personnel are participating in the air and at sea. Marines join approximately 1,400 of their counterparts from the 9th Division, North Eastern Army, Japan Ground Self-Defense Force.
The exercise features 3rd Marine Division carrying out a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System Infiltration while coordinating a “kill web.” In this exercise the kill web involves USMC and JGSDF missile batteries coordinating with a US Navy destroyer at sea, alongside USMC, USN and JASDF aviation assets to triangulate and prosecute maritime targets in a fictional scenario.
Other highlights include a cooperative bi-lateral air assault featuring US Marines and Japanese soldiers, urban infantry combat operations, combined and joint refueling between both countries in tactical settings (a first), and advanced simulated mass casualty medical training, and long range resupply aerial deliveries by the US Air Force.
Maj. Gen. Jay Bargeron, Commanding General, 3d Marine Division said:
“Resolute Dragon 21 is an example of the strength of the U.S.-Japan alliance, which has served as the foundation of peace and security in the Indo-Pacific for more than 60 years. Through this exercise, the JGSDF and U.S. Marine Corps will strengthen, integrate, and synchronize our complementary capabilities to ensure we remain ready and capable of defending all of Japan, safeguarding our shared values, and preserving freedom at sea.”