Yama Sakura 61: STORIES   HOMEPAGE
US Army Pacific commander participates in mock press conference
Lt. Gen. Francis J. Wiercinski, the commander of U.S. Army Pacific, answers questions during a mock bilateral press conference at Camp Itami, Japan, Feb. 4. ...More

Mock press conference
Col. Thomas Kunk, U.S. Army Pacific Contingency Command Post, and Col. Sumio Yamashita, Japanese Ground Self Defense Force, discuss operations during a mock press conference at Camp Itami, Japan, Feb. 2. ...More

Ichi Dan!
OSAKA, Japan U.S. Army soldiers and Japan Ground Self Defense Force members participated in the 2012 Yama Sakura 61 exercise at Camp Itami in Osaka, Japan, Jan. 23 Feb. 6. Yama Sakura is an annual, simulation computer driven joint-bilateral exercise between the JGSDF from Middle Army and the U.S. Army Pacific. This exercise is designed to strengthen military operations between the two forces ...More

Home visit
CAMP ITAMI, Japan - "Kompai!" yelled the group as they toasted in the home of Maj. Yasuo Okamoto. The night was a celebration for Okamoto and his wife, Mika, because they had four U.S. soldiers participating in the Yama Sakura exercise from Camp Itami eating, drinking and being merry in their living room. As a tradition of the Yama Sakura exercise, U.S. Army Japan soldiers participated in a home visit ...More

Unbridled service in Japan
Members of the Yama Sakura 61's Public Affairs Office tell the stories of the personnel associated with the exercise. ...More

Yama Sakura 61 begins with opening ceremony
CAMP ITAMI, Japan - Yama Sakura 61, an annual bilateral exercise with the Japan Ground Self Defense Force and U.S. Army Pacific officially began, Jan. 30, at Camp Itami, Japan. The Yama Sakura exercise is a simulation-driven joint bilateral command post exercise designed to enhance U.S. and Japan combat readiness and interoperability while strengthening bi-lateral relationships. U.S. military members ...More

Going green in Osaka
CAMP ITAMI, Japan Raking leaves on a wintry Saturday morning in January is probably not very high on the to-do list for most soldiers stationed abroad. Nonetheless, several soldiers participating in the Yama Sakura 61 exercise at Camp Itami decided to trade in their free time and give back to the city of Osaka by assisting their Japanese counterparts in picking up trash and raking leaves around ...More

US-Japan Exercises Underscore New Strategy Guidance Focus
WASHINGTON, Jan. 24, 2012 Two bilateral command post exercises with Japan kicked off yesterday and today, reflecting the growing strategic importance of the Asia-Pacific region as outlined in the new defense strategy guidance President Barack Obama announced earlier this month. Japanese and U.S. military forces launched Keen Edge 12 yesterday at Yokota, Japan. The biennial exercise continues through ...More

Learning the Japanese heritage during Yama Sakura 61
CAMP ITAMI, JAPAN Visiting a Japanese Buddha temple might be on some people's bucket list, but for some U.S. service members at this year's Yama Sakura 61 exercise, they can scratch that item off their list. Maj. Richard Dixon from Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, U.S. Army Pacific operations officer, planned the YS61 morale and welfare trips to visit Japanese temples, including the Kiyomizuder ...More

The driving force behind Yama Sakura 61
CAMP ITAMI, JAPAN Traveling overseas into unchartered territory can often present many challenging obstacles for military personnel abroad. It is important that soldiers reach their destinations in a safe and secure manner. At Camp Itami, Mr. Tom Johnson, chief of transportation for U.S. Army Japan, is in charge of the movement control teams responsible for a variety of transportation related tasks ...More

Cultural Activities Offer U.S. Military Personnel a Unique Experience in Japan
CAMP ITAMI, Japan - Many times when a U.S. soldier hears the word "exercise" he or she may often think of a broad range of training possibilities that may include use of advanced weaponry, communications, or even time spent in a field training environment. However, the annual Yama Sakura in Japan offers a unique cultural experience designed to strengthen relationships between U.S. personnel and their ...More

International training initiates at Camp Itami
U.S. Army Japan and the Japan Ground Self Defense Force prepare for the 2012 Yama Sakura 61 exercise at Camp Itami in Osaka, Japan, Jan. 23 -- Feb. 6. Yama Sakura is designed to strengthen military operations between the two forces at the operational level and aid in the defense of Japan. "Partnership must be made from friendship," said Sgt. 1st Class Takatoshi Izumi, an Infantry member of the JSDF, ...More

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