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Operation Orient Shield Journal

Mon, Oct 19, 2009 - 9:30 AM (EDT America/New_York)
Spec. John Walis, 1st platoon, Delta Company, 1st Bn, 69th Inf. Regiment fires a 50 calibar machine gun against opposing forces during Orient Shield field training exercise, Aibano Training Site, Japan, Oct. 16, 2009. Orient Shield is a mutual US Army and Japan Ground Self Defense Force joint exercise designed to enhance staff coordination and promote regimental and battalion level command and staff training opportunities, combat readiness and tactical level training. The exercise took place at Camp Imazu and Aibano Training Area in Shiga-prefecture, Japan, October, 10-17, 2009.

Joint US-Japan Training Teaches Lessons All Around

Aibano Training Area, Japan -- Hundreds of US and Japanese Soldiers took to the wood lines here in a simulated combat field training exercise.  Moving simultaneously and parallel with one goal in mind -- defeat a common enemy.

 

Soldiers from the New York Army National Guard ' s 1st Battalion 69th Infantry Regiment identified enemy fighting positions and collected information on the makeup and strength of the fictional enemy.  This was used to assist both the US Army and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) soldiers set up hasty defense positions and attack and defeat enemy forces.  Ground and mounted soldiers from both forces crossed steep elevations and rivers, concealing their movements as they denied the enemy the capability to conduct counter attacks on friendly forces. 

 

The ultimate goal was to advance the 7th Regiment, JGSDF, to their appointed objective and secure it.  Mission Accomplished.

 

During the field exercise, which took place from October 16-18, Soldiers put into play many of the combat skills and techniques they demonstrated to one another over the past week, while participating in Orient Shield 10, October 10-17, 2009.

 

''Orient shield is an exercise we run every year with the Japanese in a bilateral environment to really strengthen the relationship between the US Army and JGSDF,'' said Major General Francis J. Wiercinski, US Army Japan/I Corps (Forward) Commanding General, Camp Zama, Japan.

 

''The 1-69th Soldiers have been training side by side with their Japanese counterparts and sharing their knowledge; not only what they’ve learned in combat, but their Soldiers skills as well,'' Wiercinski said.

 

Throughout the week-long exercise designed to promote regimental and battalion level command training opportunities, combat readiness and tactical level training, US and JGSDF soldiers exchanged combat skills and techniques. 

 

Demonstrating how they conduct military maneuvers in urban terrain operations, air assault missions, squad movement and reconnaissance techniques.  Of particular interest to Japan forces was learning to engage targets while moving in a confined area and reacting quickly to unstable targets.

 

''The command and control abilities of the 69th Regiment Commander, staff activities and basic action of each soldiers, are very helpful for us,'' said Col. Hiroyuki Hata, 7th Infantry Regiment Commander.

 

''They’ve also learned about Japanese leadership skills and techniques, tactics and procedures… and that’s what this whole thing’s about,''  Wiercinski added.

 

''This training is a way to build up connections between the US and Japan Ground Self-defense Force.  It is most important in case we must conduct combined operations under each chain of command,'' said Lt. General Mamoru Fujisaki, Commanding General for the 3rd Division, JGSDF, Camp Senzo, Japan.  ''This field training exercise is remarkable, which has a direct bearing on interoperability.'' 

 

For many of these Soldiers it was their first opportunity to train with soldiers from a different culture with totally different weapons systems.

 

''This has been a great opportunity to assess how they perform their missions and possibly utilize some of their practices,'' said Staff Sgt. Johnny Madera, a Squad Leader with Bravo Company, 1-69 Inf. from Queens Village, NY. 

 

''Their mission performance was executed on point with successful use of their equipment.  Everything we saw convinces me I’d fight alongside them any day,'' Madera added.

 

Sgt. Masahiro Jyoko, Co. 5 Rifle Platoon Squad Leader, gained a great deal of information from the combined training opportunity.  ''The 69th infantry regiment fight effectively and have experience from combat.  I am very happy to teach these important skills to my subordinates,'' said Jyoko.

 

''We should train more and we must reflect on what we have studied from US and also hope this exercise has the honor of good relationship between US and Japan.  The friendship and trust built between 1st Bn. 69th Regiment and the 7th Infantry Regiment is forever,'' Hata said.

 

''It’s an honor to have the 69th here.  They have a great history, a magnificent combat record and they come here with an attitude of learning and an attitude of teaching and that’s exactly what we need,''Wiercinski said. 

 

''My hat goes off to them for doing such a superb job out here, for extending US and Japanese relations, and really being great ambassadors for the United States of America,''Wiercinski said.

 

            ''This has been an outstanding experience for our Soldiers, not only in the context of our own training, but the opportunity to share our experiences with our Japanese counterparts and learn from them,'' said Lt. Col. John Andonie, Commander, 1st Bn. 69th Infantry Regiment, New York Army National Guard.

 

Thu, Oct 15, 2009 - 10:10 AM (EDT America/New_York)
Spec. Nathaniel Henrickson, Co. A, 341st Military Intelligence Battalion, Washington Army National Guard assists Lt. Col. John Andonie, 1st Bn, 69th Infantry Regiment Commander, New York, NY as he discusses bi-lateral training with Japan Ground Self-Defense Forces, during exercise Orient Shield, Oct 11, 2009. Photo by: MSG Corine Lombardo, 42nd Infantry Division

Breaking Down Language Barriers

 

Story by Jimmy Bedgood, 42nd Infantry Division

 

OTOMO BARRACKS, JAPAN--Helping to bring US and Japanese military forces together is what Washington Army National Guard, Spc. Samuel J. Greer with the 341st  Bravo Co. and Spc. Nathaniel Henrickson from the 341st Military Intellegence Battalion Alpha Co. Det. in Tacoma do for a living.

 

     They have a way with words, literally, providing interpreter services and translation to facilitate joint training between the 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment, NY Army National Guard and Japan Ground Self-Defense Forces, during Orient Shield, a bilateral field training exercise, October 9-17, 2009

 

   ''The ability for exercise participants to communicate with each other is imperative to the success of the exercise, said Sgt. First Class George Pasion, Orient Shield Operations NCOIC for US Army Japan. “We could not do this without the skills and talent of our translators.''

 

     Orient Shield is designed to integrate soldier skills, while working toward a common training goal.  The training will enhance staff coordination and promote regimental and battalion level command and staff training opportunities.

 

     This is accomplished through joint military decision making processes and mutual operations rehearsals.

 

     ''Having a translator has been a tremendous benefit and has allowed us to streamline the process,'' said Lt. Col. John Andonie, 1-69 Inf. Reg. Commander.  ''Our Soldiers have devised numerous ways to communicate with each other, everything from hand gestures to drawing pictures,'' Andonie said.  ''This training opportunity would have been significantly more challenging without the assistance of our US translators.''

 

     The week long training is geared toward improving both US and Japan combat readiness and working together to enhance relations to support the security interests of friends and allies in the region.

 

   ''We need to be here, without our alliance with Japan we have no way of taking care of our interest in this part of the world,''Greer said. ''I’ve always loved Japanese, it’s a skill set I can use, even after the military.''

 

     1st Lt. Takashi Haga, a Platoon Leader with the 37th Infantry Regiment, Japan Ground Self-Defense Force was selected to act as an interpreter throughout Orient Shield because of his bi-lingual skills.

 

     ''Working with the 1 Bn. 69th Regiment has given me a very good opportunity to practice my English,''said Haga.  ''I am happy to support the bilateral training.''

Thu, Oct 15, 2009 - 10:00 AM (EDT America/New_York)
Pvt. Shaheem Danztler and Pvt. First Class Carlos Gonzalez, members of 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment’s scout platoon, along with members of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, stand stacked and ready to move as a squad during scout training at Camp Imazu and Aibano Training Area, Shiga-prefecture, Japan October 14, 2009 as part of exercise Orient Shield. Photo by PFC Rachel Sanzo

Army Scouts Walk Same Path 

 

US and Japan Military Forces Discover: Regardless the Uniform, the Mission is the Same

 

Story and photos by Spec. Rachel Sanzo, 42nd Infantry Division

 

AIBANO TRAINING AREA, JAPAN -- From the time New York Army National Guard members of 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment’s scout platoon arrived here, they literally hit the ground running.  Their duty as scouts is to get the information, and to deliver it fast.

 

    ''As scouts, our job is to gather intelligence for our higher-ups and to relay it in real time on the battlefield,'' said Staff Sgt. Ryan Bhoorasingh, the scout platoon leader for the 1-69th Headquarters Company from Queens, New York.

 

     The scout platoon, along with members of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, gathered at the training area and conducted scout training, October 14, 2009 as part of exercise Orient Shield.

 

     Orient Shield is an annual field training exercise co-sponsored by United States Army Japan and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force.  The exercise, which takes place from October 10-17, 2009 at Camp Imazu and Aibano Training Area, Shiga-prefecture, Japan is designed to enhance staff coordination and promote regimental and battalion level commander and staff training opportunities.  This is accomplished through joint military decision making processes and mutual operations rehearsals.

 

     The exercise encourages long lasting professional engagements, relationships, good will, and understanding in order to improve and sustain bilateral operations and procedures.

 

     ''The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force welcomed us and seemed very willing to learn,''said Bhoorasingh.  ''I have learned a few things from them since we’ve been here.''

 

     The US and Japanese soldiers exchanged knowledge and compared techniques in fire team movement, moving in stacks as squads, and conducting reconnaissance missions in the battle zone and en route to their objective.  And although the techniques and equipment used on both sides may have differed, many soldiers discovered that the mission of a scout is a universal one.

 

     ''There is a bond between scouts of any nationality, it doesn ' t matter what country we ' re from,'' said Spec. Pablo Acosta, a scout platoon member of the HHC 1-69th from Manhattan,

     Through conducting the scout training, the US Soldiers learned how to accomplish their mission, and were able to experience the dedication and hard work shown by their counterparts.

 

     ''The soldiers loved it on both sides.  The fact that we worked together, hand in hand with the Japanese soldiers made the communication barrier fade away very fast,'' said Bhoorasingh.  ''It ' s been a great opportunity being here and working with such dedicated soldiers.''

 

Thu, Oct 15, 2009 - 10:00 AM (EDT America/New_York)
Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment based in New York City, New York and soldiers of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force congratulate each other after completing a multiple target acquisition competition, October 11, 2009 as part of Exercise Orient Shield Photo by Spc. Rachel Sanzo, 42nd Infantry Division (Released)

Quick Reaction Training Builds Fast Friendships

Story and photos by Spec. Rachel Sanzo, 42nd Infantry Division

 

 

AIBANO TRAINING AREA, JAPAN -- What started out as marksmanship training for US and Japanese Soldiers transformed into a tactical, and cultural, learning experience for both parties involved.   

 

     New York Army National Guard Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment based in New York City, New York and soldiers of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force engaged in close quarters marksmanship training on October 11, 2009.

 

     The United States and Japanese Soldiers took part in the training as part of Exercise Orient Shield.  The exercise takes place from October 10-17 at Camp Imazu and Aibano Training Area, Shiga-prefecture, Japan.  

 

     The exercise is designed to enhance staff coordination and promote regimental and battalion level commander and staff training opportunities through joint military decision making processes and mutual operations rehearsals.

 

     The bilateral objectives of Orient Shield are to conduct and improve US Army and Japan Defense Force joint operations, combat readiness and interoperability through focused tactical level training exercises.

 

     Close quarters marksmanship teaches Soldiers how to engage targets while they are on the move in a confined area.  Compared to the standard marksmanship taught to US Soldiers in basic combat training, this advanced training instructs Soldiers to anticipate and react quickly to unstable targets in small areas such as buildings.

 

     “Soldiers generally aren’t going to encounter stationary targets at a distance during their deployments,” said Sgt. First Class Christian Gallagher, a platoon sergeant with Charlie Company, 1-69th from New York City and close quarters marksmanship instructor for Exercise Orient Shield.  “Close quarters marksmanship training is important because it teaches Soldiers realistically what to expect so they’ll act smarter downrange.”

 

     The training, which included instruction on stance and body positioning, turning and movement techniques, tactical reloading, and multiple target acquisitioning, provided the US and Japanese Soldiers an opportunity to exchange knowledge and learn from their counterparts.

     “The competition at the end was really awesome,” said Sgt. Jairo Aquino, a weapons squad team leader with Bravo Company, 1-69th from Bronx, New York.  “I was very impressed with the training and the high level of discipline shown by the Japanese Soldiers.  They are very professional.”

 

     The CQM training, though first and foremost a tactical field exercise, turned into something much more for many Soldiers.

 

     “I got the chance to make some great friends from the Japanese Army,” said Sgt. Roman Goris, the assistant weapons squad team leader from B Company, 1-69th from Queens, New York.  “We exchanged email addresses, and I will miss them very much when our unit leaves Japan.”

 

Thu, Oct 15, 2009 - 10:00 AM (EDT America/New_York)
Soldiers of Charlie Company 1-69th exit a Japanese CH-47 Chinook October 12, 2009 during an air assault mission October 12, 2009. The training, also called Heliborne Training, is just one part of Orient Shield. Orient Shield is an annual field training joint exercise, combining US Army Japan and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force. The exercise is designed to implement tactical combat skills and takes place at Camp Imazu and the Aibano Training Area, Shiga prefecture, Japan from October 10-17.

Training Takes to the Skies

 

US and Japan Forces Share Skills Through Aviation Training

 

Story and photos by Sgt. First Class Peter Towse, 42nd Infantry Division

 

AIBANO TRAINING AREA, SHIGA PREFECTURE, JAPAN - The landing zone perimeter is lined with US Soldiers, forming a wall of security waiting for the birds to come in. 

 

     Soon, the familiar sounds of helicopters cut through the air and the order “one minute” resounds among the troops as they repeat the warning to prepare to board the CH-47 Chinook.

 

     The rotor wash from the Japanese cargo helicopter blasts the infantrymen with rocks and dirt…forming a cloud of thick dust as they move from the prone position to the back of the aircraft.

 

     Within seconds, approximately 25 New York Citizen Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment, are in the Chinook and ready for the assault.

 

     ''Our mission is to assault an area,'' said Staff Sgt. Ronald Stroh an infantry squad leader with Charlie Company 1-69th.  ''We will be transported by helicopter from one location to another and then inserted into the area we will be assaulting.''

 

     Once back on the ground, the troops disembark the aircraft and secure the new LZ until the helicopter leaves.  Once the aircraft has cleared the area, the Soldiers carry on with the mission.

 

     ''There is a certain adrenaline level when training in this environment,'' Stroh said. 

 

     ''There are a lot of other factors, like safety, that come into play when doing this type of training.''

 

     The ' assault '  is just one element of on going training in conjunction with Orient Shield. 

 

     Orient Shield is an annual field training exercise, combining US Army and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldiers, geared towards sharing tactical combat skills and takes place at Camp Imazu and the Aibano Training Area, Shiga prefecture, Japan from October 10-17.

The exercise is designed to enhance staff coordination and promote training opportunities through joint military decision making processes and mutual operations rehearsals.

 

     Four Japanese helicopters are involved in the exercise; three UH-1 Hueys and one CH-47 Chinook.  Air assault troops of Japan ' s 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Division, Middle Army, Joint Ground Self-Defense Force take the lead aircraft and rappel out of the side of the Huey to the ground in order to secure the area before the other three helicopters land to drop the assault troops off for the rest of the mission.

 

     ''Soldiers have to be conscience of what they are doing because somebody could get hurt,'' Stroh said.  “We are using real helicopters and some of the Soldiers have not done this before…This is air assault training! ''

 

     Prior to boarding the aircraft, the 69th Infantry Soldiers secure an area while waiting for the aircraft to arrive.  Once the helicopters land, the Soldiers load the aircraft, fly around the area of the simulated battle field then exit the Chinook to provide security.

 

     The training takes about 30 minutes to complete, giving each squad participating a chance to work on their techniques and exchange information with their Japanese counterparts.

 

     ''It is very good working with our Japanese counterparts,'' Stroh said.  ''Their techniques are similar to ours and we are able to learn from them as well as teach them our techniques.''

 

     ''The 69th Infantry Regiment has very good skills in security and positions,'' said Sgt. Koji Nagashima, Company 5, 7th Infantry Regiment Anti-tank Platoon Leader.   ''I am happy to learn better techniques to teach my subordinates,'' Nagashima said.

 

     Once the training phase is complete, both forces will take part in a culmination of all their training in a simulated battle exercise spanning three days.

 

Thu, Oct 15, 2009 - 9:20 AM (EDT America/New_York)
In the Photo, Nobuyasu Hirata, a Combat Instructor for the 3rd Army Division shows off their Joint Ground Self-Defense Force Tank Type 74 to Staff Sgt. Johnny Madera, a Squad Leader with Bravo Company, 1-69th Infantry Regiment, Queens Village, NY during MOUT training, October 10, 2009 during exercise Orient Shield.

Exchanging Expertise Brings Forces Together

 

US Army and Japan Defense Force Soldiers Compare Skills Through Training Exercise

 

Story and photos by Master Sgt. Corine Lombardo, 42nd Infantry Division

 

AIBANO TRAINING AREA, JAPAN -- For any Soldier, entering and clearing an enemy position can be intimidating.  Not knowing what lies beyond the door or what to expect requires reacting on instinct - instinct formed through battle drills and repetition.

 

     It was these battle skills that Soldiers from the New York Army National Guard ' s, 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment and Japan ' s 7th Regiment, 3rd Army Division, Joint Ground Self-Defense Force compared at Camp Imazu Military Operations Urban Training site during exercise Orient Shield.

 

     Orient Shield is a mutual US Army and Japan Defense Force joint exercise designed to enhance staff coordination and promote regimental and battalion level command and staff training opportunities, combat readiness and tactical level training.  The exercise takes place Camp Imazu and Aibano Training Area in Shiga-prefecture, Japan, 10-17 October, 2009.

 

     Both units demonstrated how they conduct military operations.  Exchanging urban terrain operations tactics and techniques was just a small part of the exercise designed to integrate soldier skills while working toward a common training goal. 

 

     For many of these Soldiers it was their first opportunity to train with soldiers from a different culture with totally different weapons systems.

 

     ''This has been a great opportunity to assess how they perform their missions and possibly utilize some of their practices,'' said Staff Sgt. Johnny Madera, a Squad Leader with Bravo Company, 1-69 Inf. from Queens Village, NY.

 

     ''Their mission performance was executed on point with successful use of their equipment.  Everything we saw today convinces me I’d fight along side them any day,'' Madera said.

 

     Sgt. Masahiro Jyoko, Co. 5 Rifle Platoon Squad Leader gained a great deal on information from the combined training opportunity.  ''The 69th Inf. regiment fight effectively and have experience from combat.  I am very happy to teach this important skills to my subordinates,'' said Jyoko.

     The focus of the exercise is to give the battalion commanders tactical combat and battle staff skills while encouraging professional relationships, good will and understanding with the Japanese army.

 

     ''The procedures are similar to ours; they are very enthusiastic and expedient.  They seem to be extremely disciplined and I am glad we had the opportunity to train with them,'' Madera said.

 

 

Fri, Oct 9, 2009 - 2:20 PM (EDT America/New_York)
Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment, New York Army National Guard and Japan’s 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Division, Middle Army, Joint Ground Self-Defense Force carry their countries colors during the opening ceremony for Exercise Orient Shield, October 9.

Hi guys,

We are still waiting for US Army Japan Public Affairs to arrive, but we emailed them and received release authority for the attached story about the exercise opening ceremony (see story here)
and photos. 

Now that we are getting release from USARJ, I will post here  (if I can get Internet). 

Thanks guys.  Catch up with you soon.

MSG Cori Lombardo

Public Affairs Chief, 42nd Infantry Division

Tue, Oct 6, 2009 - 8:20 PM (EDT America/New_York)

After 14 hours of flying and a 3 hour bus ride from Osaka, Japan we arrived at Camp Imazu.   It looks like email access may be limited so there may not be too many posts.  My intent to provide a general description and coverage of the interaction and training between the 69th Infantry Division from the NY Army National Guard and the Japanese Army.

So far, all is well.  The barracks are not bad.  Beds with blankets and indoor plumbing, so we're happy.  We are preparing for the Super Typhoon which is expected to hit tomorrow or the next day (if it hits at all).  Don't worry if it does, they have provisions already set up to make sure we are safe. 

We are still waiting for our Japanese counterparts to arrive so it is very slow this morning.  So far everyone we have encountered has been very friendly.  Not much more than that going on since we haven't actually started working yet. 

I'll catch up with you all once I have more.


Master Sgt. Corine Lombardo

42nd Infantry Division Public Affairs

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