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U.S. Marines with Marine Wing Support Squadron 172 refuel an MV-22B Osprey at a forward arming and refueling point in preparation for exercise Resolute Dragon 21, Dec. 3, 2021 at Ojojihara Proving Grounds, Japan. RD21 is the largest bilateral field training exercise between the U.S. Marine Corps and Japan Self-Defense Force in 2021. RD21 is designed to strengthen the defensive capabilities of the U.S.-Japan Alliance by exercising integrated command and control, targeting, combined arms, and maneuver across multiple domains.

Photo by Sgt. Kirstin Spanu

U.S. Marines, Japan Ground Self-Defense Force set to begin Exercise Resolute Dragon

3 Dec 2021 | Capt. Benjamin Yoder The Official United States Marine Corps Public Website

 U.S. Marines and members of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, alongside elements from the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army, are set to kick off their largest bilateral training exercise of the year with Resolute Dragon 2021 taking place at multiple training locations across Japan from Dec. 4-17.

The exercise begins with an opening ceremony at Ojojihara Training Area, where U.S. and Japanese troops will gather for the presentation of their national colors and opening remarks from senior commanders.

“Resolute Dragon 21 is an example of the strength of the U.S.-Japan alliance, which has served as the foundation of peace and security in the Indo-Pacific for more than 60 years,” said Maj. Gen. Jay Bargeron, Commanding General, 3d Marine Division. Through this exercise, the JGSDF and U.S. Marine Corps will strengthen, integrate, and synchronize our complementary capabilities to ensure we remain ready and capable of defending all of Japan, safeguarding our shared values, and preserving freedom at sea.”

Resolute Dragon 21 includes nearly 2,650 Marines from across III MEF representing all functions of the Fleet Marine Force. Participating aircraft from 1st Marine Aircraft Wing include multiple MV-22B Ospreys, CH-53E Stallions, AH-1Z Vipers, UH-1Y Venom, F/A-18E Hornets, and KC-130J Hercules.

Marines will join approximately 1,400 of their counterparts from the 9th Division, North Eastern Army, Japan Ground Self-Defense Force.

“We are committed to remaining postured and ready to fight and win if called upon.” Maj. Gen. Jay Bargeron, Commanding General, 3d Marine Division

We will operate across all domains with our Japanese allies and joint partners to maximize our ability to deter and defeat any potential threat,” said Bargeron. “We are committed to remaining postured and ready to fight and win if called upon.”

Resolute Dragon is designed to strengthen the defensive capabilities of the U.S.-Japan alliance by refining procedures for bilateral command, control, and coordination in a geographically distributed environment.

Resolute Dragon 21 will implement all USFJ-mandated COVID-19 prevention procedures in order to keep local Japanese communities and the combined military force safe and healthy. All U.S. participants are fully-vaccinated.

Bilateral training exercises like Resolute Dragon, conducted between the Japan Self-Defense Force and forward-deployed U.S. Marine Corps forces, demonstrate both countries’ devotion to their mutual partnership and dedication to defending peace and security in the Indo-Pacific. Resolute Dragon is the latest example of this ongoing commitment and resulting increases in bilateral capabilities, integration, lethality, and readiness.

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