US, Japan ends Rising Thunder 18 joint military exercise at Yakima training center

The US and Japanese troops ended the Rising Thunder 18 joint military exercise at Yakima training center.

That was reported by Sgt. Frances Ariele L Tejada.

The 20th annual Rising Thunder exercise involved Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, along with members of the 1st Infantry Regiment, Japan Ground Self-Defense Force.

The goal of the15-day bilateral exercise was to strengthen partnership, improve unit readiness and enhance combined combat capabilities with U.S. and Japan forces. About 300 JGSDF members and 700 U.S. Soldiers participated in the exercise – sharing knowledge and skills through combined arms training, sniper operations and urban live fire assaults.

“We’re very fortunate to have this opportunity to participate in Rising Thunder 18 and work with our allies from Japan,” said Lt. Col. Donald R. Neal Jr., Commander of the 1-17 IN, 2-2SBCT. “What I enjoyed the most is that we got see more of what joins us, rather than what divides us.”

Over the course of the exercise, Soldiers from both forces competed in a sniper competition and shared tactical knowledge to feed one another’s strengths and weaknesses.

“We’ve learned a lot from one another,” said Spc. Richard Caldwell, an infantryman with 1-17 IN, 2-2SBCT. “I think it’s been a great opportunity for both sides to see how they work and really build off of one another to have that cohesion. It’s a chance for all of us to see the bigger picture together.”

A sniper from 1-17 IN, 2-2SBCT, Spc. Ahmad Bedair, said learning from his allies helped enhance his skills.

“It’s very humbling learning from the Japanese with the different levels of experience they have as snipers,” said Bedair as he adjusted the scope on his weapon. “Not only do we learn tactical skill sets from them, but we also learn about …read more

Read more here:: Defence Blog (Land)

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