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The LST Type SHIMOKITA prepares to set sail during an amphibious warfare exercise at Camp Ainoura, Sasebo, Japan, May 16, 2018. Marines and Sailors with Combat Logistics Battalion 31, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, joined Japan Ground Self-Defense Force service members to embark with the newly formed Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade to enhance the ARDB’s capabilities to deal with various situations on islands. The 31st MEU, the Marine Corps’ only continuously forward-deployed MEU, provides a flexible force ready to perform a wide range of military operations. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Hannah Hall/Released)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Hannah Hall

Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade sets sail

24 May 2018 | Lance Cpl. Hannah Hall 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit

Marines and Sailors with Combat Logistics Battalion 31, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force service members completed training with the newly formed JGSDF Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade in Sasebo, Japan, May 24, 2018. The ARDB combines Japanese air, ground and sea forces, similar to a U.S. Marine Corps Marine Air-Ground Task Force.

The ARDB, established March 27, 2018, is the Japanese government’s concept to deal with various situations on islands. The ARDB combines ground forces, aviation support, and logistical capabilities into a cohesive unit capable of reacting to a variety of scenarios, including self-defense and humanitarian assistance-disaster relief.

“We have so many challenges and have to improve our capabilities,” said JGSDF Lt. Col. Ken Tsuneda, commanding officer, Logistics Battalion, ARDB. “In this exercise we were able to partner with the Marine Corps and gain knowledge.”

The Marines and Sailors observed and gave their advice to the ARDB on how to improve their skills moving forward. The JGSDF service members are excited for the next exercise, according to Tsuneda, “It was a very nice opportunity and the exercise was the first step toward a new partnership.”

“It has been a great experience, we always look forward for the opportunity to train with our allied partners,” said Capt. Juan Itturiaga, a supply officer with CLB-31. “We were able to learn from their tactics and best practices while sharing our own as well, meanwhile growing stronger together.”

The 31st MEU is the only continuously forward-deployed MEU and is capable of accomplishing a wide variety of military operations including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, regional security and non-combat evacuation.

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