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U.S., Japan conduct joint-bilateral training

Japan Ground Self Defense Force members observe Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment load a Patriot missile battery onto a C-17 Globe Master III March 14, 2017, on Kadena Air Base, Japan. The C-17 Globe Master III is capable of carrying payloads up to 169,000 pounds (76,657 kilograms). (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Omari Bernard)

Japan Ground Self Defense Force members observe Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment load a Patriot missile battery onto a C-17 Globe Master III March 14, 2017, on Kadena Air Base, Japan. The C-17 Globe Master III is capable of carrying payloads up to 169,000 pounds (76,657 kilograms). (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Omari Bernard)

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force members observe Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment load Patriot missile battery equipment onto a C-17 Globe Master III March 14, 2017, on Kadena Air Base, Japan. The Patriot missile system is a long-range air defense asset and can be broken down to be transported via plane anywhere in the world in a matter of hours. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Omari Bernard)

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force members observe Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment load Patriot missile battery equipment onto a C-17 Globe Master III March 14, 2017, on Kadena Air Base, Japan. The Patriot missile system is a long-range air defense asset and can be broken down to be transported via plane anywhere in the world in a matter of hours. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Omari Bernard)

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Dawayn Gibbs, 1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiement headquarters noncommissioned officer-in-charge, writes down the weight of a Patriot missile battery during rapid load training March 14, 2017, on Kadena Air Base, Japan. U.S. Soldiers from the 1-1 ADA train alongside units from the Japan Self-Defense force regularly to provide missile defense for Okinawa.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Omari Bernard)

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Dawayn Gibbs, 1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiement headquarters noncommissioned officer-in-charge, writes down the weight of a Patriot missile battery during rapid load training March 14, 2017, on Kadena Air Base, Japan. U.S. Soldiers from the 1-1 ADA train alongside units from the Japan Self-Defense force regularly to provide missile defense for Okinawa. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Omari Bernard)

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- Japan Self-Defense Force members conducted bilateral training with U.S. Soldiers and Airmen March 14 and 16 to strengthen relations and increase readiness.

U.S. Army Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment, demonstrated to the Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s 5th Air Defense Missile Group and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force’s 15th Anti-Aircraft Regiment rapid Patriot missile battery equipment loading while fulfilling a deployment of U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster IIIs.

“The 1-1 ADA is moving equipment via C-17 to another location to support operations off of Okinawa,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Scott Dellinger, 1-1 ADA commander. “At the same time, we are taking the opportunity to share the experience with our JASDF and JGSDF partners.”

U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army transportation specialists calculated the weight and dimensions of the cargo before rapid transport to the awaiting aircraft. Upon arrival to the C-17, Air Force and Army transportation specialists guided the equipment onto the aircraft.

“When the flag goes up and we’re needed to deploy we are ready,” said Army Capt. Jonathon Craig, 1-1 ADA battle captain. “We can mobilize, prepare, and load the equipment and personnel for transport within hours.”

Craig said that the training was about not only building proficiency but also strengthening bonds with the JSDF.

“We train with our JASDF and JGSDF counterparts often,” said Dellinger. “We have a very good partnership and an incredibly strong friendship with both the JASDF 5th ADMG and the JGSDF 15th AAR.”

The Soldiers of 1-1 ADA have used every opportunity to train together with their JASDF and JGSDF counterparts for more than a decade and are dedicated to their partnership.

“If there is a threat to Okinawa, the 1-1 ADA, the 5th ADMG, and the 15th AAR will defend Okinawa together,” said Dellinger. “None of us can do this mission alone and we will succeed by working together.”