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NEWS | Aug. 27, 2022

Orient Shield 22 begins with opening ceremony

By Maj. Devon Thomas U.S. Army Japan

Camp Kengun, Japan—Participants from U.S. Army Japan, 11th Airborne Division, 1st Multi-domain Task Force, 17th Field Artillery Brigade, 38th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, 5th Security Force Assistance Brigade and associated units gathered for the Orient Shield 22 opening ceremony, August 27 at Camp Kengun, Japan.

Orient Shield 22 is the largest U.S. Army and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force(JGSDF) bilateral field training exercise being executed in various locations throughout Japan to enhance interoperability and test and refine multi-domain and cross-domain operations.

“For over seventy years, Japanese and Americans have enjoyed a close friendship and a lasting peace,” said the Commanding General of U.S. Army Japan, Maj. Gen. J.B. Vowell, in his opening remarks. “We have come to annually for this exercise not only to ensure that our bond of peace and friendship continues to grow, but also to demonstrate the ironclad commitment of the of U.S.-Japan alliance by performing realistic bilateral training focusing on the defense of Japan, to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific."

During the exercise, which will occur from Aug. 28 to Sept. 3, participants from U.S. Army Japan, U.S. Army Pacific, 1st Multi-domain Task Force and 17th Field Artillery Brigade will conduct a command post exercise with a focus on bilateral targeting that synchronizes with a field training exercise at Camp Amami, Japan with multi-domain and cross-domain operations.

Additionally, an element of the 38th Air Defense Artillery Brigade is deployed to Camp Fukuoka, Japan to work alongside the Western Army's 2nd Air Defense Brigade.

U.S. Army Infantry units from the 11th Airborne Division from Fort Wainwright Alaska will perform live-fire bilateral training with the JGSDF Western Army, focusing on with javelin, antitank, sniper, infantry combat drills and air assault operations.

Orient Shield is not only an exercise is about building interoperability, but also partnership between the U.S. Army and the Japan Ground Self Defense Force.

"I want each of you to learn from your partners…which makes a thick and strong bond between U.S. and Japan from a unit level to a national level,” said the Commanding General of the Western Army, Lt. Gen. Ryoji Takemoto.

Vowell emphasized the bond of the U.S.-Japan alliance and its importance of collective deterrence in the region.

“Japan is the anchoring and frontline ally with the United States in the Indo-Pacific. Our partnership serves as the key to integrated deterrence and regional security here on the knife’s edge of freedom. I am looking forward to building on our training and readiness and improving our friendship during this exercise,” Vowell said.