The Japanese Air Self-Defense Force has conducted Patriot Advanced Capability-3 deployment training at US Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan.
PAC-3 is a surface-to-air missile defence system.
This training, say the Japanese government, displays the strength of the US-Japan alliance and demonstrates the JASDF’s ability to rapidly deploy multiple defence assets to US military installations across Japan.
“We conduct many exercises with our partners in the Japan Self-Defense Forces,” said US Marine Corps Lt. Col. Robert Vuolo, the MCAS Iwakuni operations officer. “MCAS Iwakuni being a hub in the region and a strategic location for the Marine Corps makes this a natural choice of locations, and we want to prove that we can work together.
It improves our interoperability due to the speed that we can bring them onto the installation, set them up in a position they can operate from and be ready to utilize their systems.”
The intention is for the training to enhance defence cooperation between the U.S. and Japan, enabling tactical units to improve interoperability while strengthening long-standing military partnerships.
PAC-3 protects ground forces and critical assets at all echelons from advanced aircraft to cruise missiles and tactical-ballistic missiles.
During the training, JASDF service members convoyed onto the air station before deploying the PAC-3, AN/MPQ-65 radar set and Antenna Mast Group.
“Both countries have robust ballistic-missile capabilities and the ability to perform this mission,” said Vuolo. “However, there is a tremendous amount of value for us to move those parts around, deploy and redeploy our forces and their forces to respond to any contingency. It adds flexibility to the U.S. – Japan alliance and the ability for us to work together in meeting our joint mission of providing security to both of our countries and the region.”