YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Keen Sword 2005, the eighth joint/bilateral field training session since 1986 involving the United States and Japan Self-Defense Force, will take place in November, according to a U.S. Forces Japan news release.

Lt. Gen. Thomas Waskow, the USFJ and 5th Air Force commander, and Gen. Hajime Massaki, chairman of the Japan Joint Staff Council, will direct the exercise.

This year’s Keen Sword will unfold at U.S. and Japanese military installations across Japan, the news release stated.

The biannual Keen Edge/Keen Sword drills alternate between Keen Sword, a field-training exercise staged in odd fiscal years, and Keen Edge, a command-post exercise in even fiscal years.

According to the news release, Keen Sword 2005 is designed to fortify the defensive readiness of U.S. and Japanese forces through training in air, ground and sea operations.

Improving interaction between the two nations is another objective, not only for the defense of Japan, officials said, but also in situations in areas surrounding Japan and others involving JSDF and U.S. forces.

A joint session involves two or more services from one country, while bilateral refers to the participation of two nations.

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