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IRON FIST 2016: Japan’s Ground Self-Dense Force and Marines Cooperative Training

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The Iron Fist training exercise is an annual, bilateral, amphibious training exercise between the US Marines and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force. It takes place at various training sites throughout Southern California. 2016’s exercise was hosted by the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

About The JGSDF (Japan Ground Self-Defense Force)

The JGSDF is the primary core of the Japan Self-Defense Force (JSDF) and is the defacto army of Japan. It is the largest of the three services in the JSDF, numbering around 150,000 full-time soldiers as of 2008. The other two services of the JSDF are The Japan Maritine Self-Defense Force (aka Navy) and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (aka Air Force).

The JGSDF was created in 1954 and has two reserve components: a rapid-reaction reserve, and a main reserve. The reserve rapid-reaction group trains 30 days per year and the main reserve trains five days per year. Its current focus is, of course, China.


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