USS Ronald Reagan Begins Exercise Keen Sword 2017

By USS Ronald Reagan Public Affairs

PHILIPPINE SEA — The Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), began participation in Exercise Keen Sword 2017 (KS17) Oct. 30.

KS17 is a joint, bilateral field training exercise involving the U.S. military and Japan Self-Defense Force (JSDF) and is designed to increase combat readiness and interoperability of the U.S.-Japan alliance.

161031-N-AC117-034 PHILIPPINE SEA (Oct. 31, 2016) A Japanese MCH-101 airborne mine countermeasures helicopter carrying Vice Adm. Hiroshi Yamamura, commander, Fleet Escort Force, and Rear Adm. Tatsuya Fukuda, commander, Escort Flotilla 4, lands on the flight deck of the Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) for the start of Exercise Keen Sword 2017 (KS17). Ronald Reagan is participating in Exercise KS17, a joint, bilateral field-training exercise involving U.S. military and Japan Self-Defense Force personnel designed to increase the combat readiness and interoperability of the Japan-U.S. alliance. (U.S. Navy photo by Seaman MacAdam Kane Weissman/Released)

161031-N-AC117-034 PHILIPPINE SEA (Oct. 31, 2016) A Japanese MCH-101 airborne mine countermeasures helicopter carrying Vice Adm. Hiroshi Yamamura, commander, Fleet Escort Force, and Rear Adm. Tatsuya Fukuda, commander, Escort Flotilla 4, lands on the flight deck of the Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) for the start of Exercise Keen Sword 2017 (KS17). Ronald Reagan is participating in Exercise KS17, a joint, bilateral field-training exercise involving U.S. military and Japan Self-Defense Force personnel designed to increase the combat readiness and interoperability of the Japan-U.S. alliance. (U.S. Navy photo by Seaman MacAdam Kane Weissman/Released)

“We look forward to another opportunity to work alongside our host-nation counterparts in the JSDF,” said Capt. Buzz Donnelly, Ronald Reagan’s commanding officer. “Working together on the kind of scenarios we will encounter during the next couple of weeks will strengthen our mutual commitment to a full range of military capabilities, as our nations face common concerns and common threats to peace and stability in the region.”

KS17 is is the latest in a series of field training exercises since 1986 involving U.S. military and JSDF personnel. The exercise will be directed by the commander of U.S. Forces Japan and the Chief of Staff of the Japan Joint Staff.

Approximately 11,000 U.S. personnel will participate in KS17, including those assigned to U.S. Forces Japan Headquarters, 5th Air Force, U.S. Naval Forces Japan, U.S. Army Japan, III Marine Expeditionary Force and Amphibious Force 7th Fleet. The forces will conduct training with their JSDF counterparts at military installations throughout mainland Japan, Okinawa and in the waters surrounding Japan.

Additionally, U.S. and JSDF forces will conduct bilateral amphibious operations, coordinating movement of personnel from ship to shore via helicopter and small boats on and around Guam and Tinian for the first time since the inception of this exercise.

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