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YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — The U.S. military and Japan Self-Defense Force will conduct a large-scale joint drill early next month at installations throughout the mainland and Okinawa.

Keen Sword 2008, set for Nov. 5-16, is a field-training exercise designed to fortify the defense of Japan through scenarios incorporating air, ground and sea operations.

U.S. Forces Japan officials said it will involve about 11,000 sailors, 105 soldiers, 650 airmen and 250 Marines. The personnel are assigned to USFJ headquarters; U.S. Army Japan; the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force; Marine Forces Japan; the 5th Air Force; Detachment 1, 13th Air Force; Commander, Naval Forces Japan; and the 7th Fleet.

Lt. Cmdr. Steve Curry, a 7th Fleet spokesman, said 10 U.S. ships would participate in various phases of Keen Sword. He said that due to force protection, names of vessels aren’t released until the day before an exercise.

According to Kyodo News, a total of 22,500 personnel, 100 ships and 450 aircraft from both sides are expected to be mobilized for the drill.

“This exercise exemplifies a continued commitment by the United States and Japan to work as dedicated partners in support of the U.S.-Japan security alliance, and for continued peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Lt. Col. Brent Hashimoto, USFJ’s chief of transformation and future capabilities.

U.S. training will include noncombatant evacuation operations, base security and force protection, search and rescue, air defense, and maritime defense and interdiction.

“This exercise is designed to ensure timely, effective and well-coordinated actions in response to a regional crisis or emergency,” said Air Force Maj. Denise Kerr, a USFJ spokeswoman. “Capturing ‘lessons learned’ from Keen Sword will also serve units in improving training, tactics and procedures for future operations.”

Keen Sword is part of an annual series between the U.S. and Japan that dates to 1986. The two nations also stage Keen Edge, a bilateral command-post exercise that uses computer-generated “emergencies” to test reaction capabilities in real time.

This marks the ninth time Keen Sword has been held and the first since 2004.

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