U.S. Army High Mobility Artillery Rocket System’s with 17th Field Artillery Brigade conducted over 12 bilateral live fire missions with 4th Field Artillery Group, Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Northern Army at Yausubetsu Training Area from June 28-30. This was the first time since Orient Shields inception in 1982 that bilateral live fire occurred in Japan between U.S. Army HIMARS and JGSDF MLRS. The training symbolizes that the partnership and alliance between the U.S. and Japan is iron clad and getting stronger every day.
The M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) is a light multiple rocket launcher developed in the late 1990s for the United States Army, mounted on a standard Army M1140 truck frame. The HIMARS carries six rockets or one MGM-140 ATACMS missile on the U.S. Army’s new Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) five-ton truck, and can launch the entire Multiple Launch Rocket System Family of Munitions (MFOM). The chassis was produced by BAE Systems Mobility & Protection Systems, the M1140 has been produced by the Oshkosh Corporation by their Defense division.
The M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (M270 MLRS) is an armored, self-propelled, multiple rocket launcher. Since the first M270s were delivered to the U.S. Army in 1983, the MLRS has been adopted by several NATO countries. Some 1,300 M270 systems have been manufactured in the United States and in Europe, along with more than 700,000 rockets. Japan Ground Self-Defense Force’s M270 MLRS built under license with the ordnance by IHI AEROSPACE and Type 99 Ammunition resupply vehicle built by Hitachi.
Orient Shield 21-2 is the largest U.S. Army and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force bilateral field training exercise being executed in various locations throughout Japan. This exercise is designed to enhance interoperability between the two nations. The exercise is comprised of approximately 1,700 U.S. and roughly 3,000 JGSDF personnel. Orient Shield has been held since 1985, this being the 35th installment. The exercise was designed specifically to test the ability to move Soldiers into Japan during a COVID-constrained environment.