More than 3,500 Japanese and US personnel will conduct a bilateral and joint exercise showcasing their capabilities on the Japanese island of Hokkaido in August.
“During the first iteration of exercise Northern Viper 2017, Marines from the 3rd Marine Division and 1st Marine Aircraft Wing will join the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force’s 11th Brigade during the three-week deployment to further solidify regional security.
Additionally, 35th FW personnel and F-16 Fighting Falcons will conduct rotary-wing close air support training with joint terminal attack controller support at Draughon Range.”
Air Force Col. R. Scott Jobe, the 35th Fighter Wing commander said:
“We are improving our readiness not only in the air, but as a logistical support team.
We are hosting about 500 Marines on-station and will support them and their aircraft during their tenure here. We are in a prime location for contingency purposes and this exercise will only build upon our readiness in the case a real-world scenario occurs.”
The release concludes:
“Forward-deployed forces from the 3rd Marine Division, based in Okinawa, will be firing the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System for the first time in Japan at Yausubetsu, located in Hokkaido. The Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st MAW will participate with a variety of aircraft, including the MV-22 Osprey, the UH-1 Huey and AH-1Z Cobra.
NV17 is designed to exercise interoperability as a bilateral U.S.-Japanese joint defense force and to execute relocation training to mainland Japan. During this relocation, Misawa Air Base is testing its readiness as a power projection hub, while preparing and supporting follow-on forces and various rotary-wing aircraft, officials said.”