US Marines, Japanese forces conduct first Japan-based Exercise Iron Fist

28 Jan 2023 | Capt. Pawel Puczko 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit

PHILIPPINE SEA – U.S. Marines and Sailors are scheduled to participate in Exercise Iron Fist 2023 alongside members of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF).


This 17th iteration of the exercise will occur for the first time at various locations in Japan and at sea in early 2023. 


Iron Fist is an annual exercise designed to increase interoperability and strengthen the relationships between the U.S. Marine Corps, the U.S. Navy, and the JGSDF. This iteration of Iron Fist will allow for additional integration of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF).


The U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy, JGSDF, and JMSDF will conduct bilateral planning to improve preparedness through real-world amphibious training. The five-week exercise also focuses on advanced marksmanship, amphibious reconnaissance, fire and maneuver assaults, logistics and medical support, and fire support operations, such as mortars, artillery and close-air support.


“I have witnessed the strong ties between the U.S. Marine Corps, the JGSDF and JMSDF from the moment I took command of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit,” said Col. Matthew C. Danner, 31st MEU Commanding Officer. “Building on that solid foundation, Iron Fist 23 will demonstrate the unmatched strength and capability of our combined forces as we work together to ensure security and stability in the region.” 


Media representatives interested in attending the March 3 media day or interested in additional coverage opportunities should contact 31st MEU COMMSTRAT Director Capt. Pawel Puczko at