Sergeant Major Arata Hamaguchi demonstrates how a litter is secured to 1st Lt. Hiroyasu Goto both with the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force’s Western Army Infantry Regiment medical team, during a tour of an MV-22 Osprey during Exercise Iron Fist 2016 at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Timothy Valero

The U.S. Marine Corps and Navy will take part in a joint-training exercise with the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force starting Monday in Southern California, including a bilateral assault in urban terrain event at Camp Pendleton.

The exercise, the 16th iteration of Exercise Iron Fist 22, will run through Feb. 16. It is intended to “increase interoperability and strengthen the alliance among the Marine Corps, Navy and JGSDF,” according to a statement from the Marines.

The units involved will work to achieve objectives through real-world amphibious training. The five-week exercise will include training on advanced marksmanship, amphibious reconnaissance, fire and maneuver assaults, logistics and medical support and fire support operations, officials said.

“The United States and Japan share common goals in the Indo-Pacific region such as freedom of navigation, economic prosperity within the rules of international law and deterrence of aggression,” Lt. Gen. George W. Smith Jr., I Marine Expeditionary Force commanding general, said in a statement. “Exercises like Iron Fist affirm U.S. commitment to our allies and our
strategic objectives.”

The culminating training event will be a “non-live-fire bi-lateral assault in urban terrain” on Feb. 4 at Camp Pendleton.

Updated at 7:37 p.m. January 5, 2022

City News Service contributed to this article.

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