Who says military exercises have to be physical and dangerous? The mental faculties are just as important in planning strategic, real-world combat reporting and training. And in the 31st annual Yama Sakura, both Japanese and US Military personnel get to practice staff coordination and military decisions based on real-life, carefully planned scenarios.
From December 7-14, marines and sailors of the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade partner with U.S. Army soldiers and members of the Japan Self-Defense Force for Yama Sakura 63. This annual command post exercise is not just to train the forces but to strengthen military operations and ties between Japan and the United States. The 3rd MEB joins this year’s Yama Sakura for the first time since it was activated last December.
What happens in this exercise is that computer-based scenarios are created and response cells are set-up in a simulation center to initiate actions according to the decisions the participants make. According to Col. John A. Ostrowski, chief of staff for 3rd MEB, it’s a way to simulate “all that while still replicating the staff and decision-making processes and orders that we would be doing in real life”. When the data reaches the command center, it is shown on a screen and now 3rd MEB Marines and sailors get to make decisions and respond like in actual combat operations.
Lt. Col. Rodney Legowski, the operations officer for 3rd MEB says that this exercise is essential to the bilateral relationship and proves that the US are a “reliable partner and committed ally”.
[ via Dvids ]