Photo Information

U.S. Marine Corps Col. Matthew Danner, left, the commanding officer of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, and Japan Ground Self Defense Force Col. Hajime Tsuji, the commanding officer of the 2nd Amphibious Rapid Deployment Regiment, shake hands during the opening ceremony of Iron Fist 24, on Camp Ainoura, Sasebo, Japan, Feb. 25, 2024. The opening ceremony initiated training between the two armed forces. Iron Fist is an annual bilateral exercise designed to increase interoperability and strengthen the relationships between the U.S. Marine Corps, the U.S. Navy, the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force, and the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Peter J. Eilen)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Peter Eilen

Iron Fist 24, Strengthening U.S. Marine and Japan Forces Combined Amphibious Capabilities

27 Feb 2024 | 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit

Feb. 05, 2024

USS AMERICA – U.S. Marines and Sailors are scheduled to participate in Exercise Iron Fist 2024 alongside members of the Japan Self-Defense Forces.

This 18th iteration of the exercise will occur in various locations in Japan, from Kyushu to Okinawa, and at sea in February and March, 2024.

Iron Fist is an annual exercise designed to increase interoperability and strengthen the relationships between the U.S. Marine Corps, the U.S. Navy, Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. This iteration of Iron Fist will further develop the combined amphibious capabilities of the U.S. Marine Corps and JGSDF Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade.

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

“This year’s execution of Iron Fist 24 is another essential milestone in a continuous deeper integration with the JGSDF Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade,” said Col. Matthew Danner, commanding officer of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. “With each bi-lateral event that we, as the 31st MEU, have participated in; I’ve witnessed our combined knowledge and ability to rapidly integrate grow significantly.”

An opening ceremony will begin the exercise, Feb. 25, on Camp Ainoura, Sasebo, Japan.

The key bi-lateral training event is a bilateral amphibious operation event on Mar. 12 in Okinawa which media are invited to observe. After the event, media will have the opportunity to attend a bi-lateral press conference with commanders representing both U.S. and Japan amphibious forces.

Photo and video packages, including B-roll, will be released by the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit for media use. Content can be found at

Media representatives interested in attending the Mar. 12 media day or interested in additional coverage opportunities should contact 31st MEU COMMSTRAT Director Capt. Pawel Puczko at