US Marines and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Set to Begin Exercise Resolute Dragon 21
US Marines and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Set to Begin Exercise Resolute Dragon 21

US Marines and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Set to Begin Exercise Resolute Dragon 21

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 December 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.

U.S. Marines with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 262 (VMM-262) and Marine Wing Support Squadron 172 (MWSS-172) operate a forward aiming and refueling point exercise during exercise Resolute Dragon 21 in Ojojihara Proving Grounds, Japan, Dec. 4, 2021.(Photo by U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Diana Jimenez)

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. 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.

U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Dillon Hartmann, a platoon commander with 3d Reconnaissance Battalion, discusses reconnaissance methods with Japan Ground Self Defense Force Soldiers as part of exercise Resolute Dragon 21 at Ojojihara Proving Grounds, Japan, Dec. 4, 2021. (Photo by U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jerry Edlin)

“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. 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. 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 Maj. Gen. Jay Bargeron, Commanding General, 3d Marine Division.

Military Sealift Command’s expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Puerto Rico (T-EPF 11) is supporting the U.S. Marine Corps during Resolute Dragon 21 in Japan, December 4-16. (Photo by Gene Palabrica/Military Sealift Command Far East)

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.

U.S. Marines with 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division and Soldiers with the Japan Self Defense Force (JSDF) participate in the opening ceremony for Resolute Dragon 21 on Ojojihara Proving Grounds, December 4, 2021.(Photo by Sgt. Mario Ramirez/3rd Marine Division)