USS Germantown Takes Part in Keen Sword Ex

The amphibious dock landing ship, USS Germantown (LSD 42) and the 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion (AAB), 2nd Marine Division (MARDIV), operated with Japanese Self Defense Forces (JSDF) during exercise Keen Sword, Nov. 11-12.

Keen Sword is a bilateral amphibious training exercise conducted with JSDF designed to increase combat readiness and interoperability.

This portion of the exercise kicked off with service members from JSDF being flown over on a Japanese Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF) CH-47 Chinook, for a tour of Germantown. This allowed Sailors and Marines to engage with members of JSDF and show them a variety of the ship’s systems and capabilities. This included a tour of the well deck, the weapons systems, the bridge, the boat deck and the wardroom.

The main goal of Germantown’s participation with JSDF is to practice tactics, techniques and procedures with Japanese forces to strengthen amphibious warfare and to help the JSDF build their developing amphibious forces.

The final exercise of the day was a simulated MEDEVAC drill that included a CH-47 Chinook helicopter landing on the flight deck with two patients that had simulated injuries.

Keen Sword is the latest in a series of joint exercises since 1986 between the U.S. military and JSDF to help enhance cooperation and unity between the two countries in the 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility.

Keen Sword will run until Nov. 19, and will include approximately 11,000 U.S. personnel and will continue to take place in a variety of locations throughout Japan, Okinawa and the waters surrounding Japan.

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Press release,. Image: US Navy

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