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Bilateral Southern Beach Exercise Highlights U.S. and Japanese Military Ties

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U.S. military personnel from Kadena Air Base teamed up with Japan Self Defense Force personnel on January 19, 2023 for ‘Southern Beach’ - military training exercises between the two countries.  Southern Beach allows U.S. and Japanese personnel the opportunity to train through integration of forces, ultimately helping to better assess and understand each other’s strengths, and areas of improvement. “Southern Beach is a bilateral exercise between U.S. personnel from Kadena Air Base and the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Sebastian Coburn, 18th Operations Support Squadron dissimilar air combat-training wing chief.

U.S. Navy Cmdr. Marc Hines, Task Group 72.2 and VP-10 commander, had his Patrol Squadron Ten (VP-10) participate in exercise Southern Beach with a P-8A Poseidon loaded with two AGM-84Ds.  Said Hines, “Exercising the full spectrum of maritime patrol in a joint bi-lateral exercise like this underpins the importance of conducting air interdiction and maritime strike…the relationships we create from mission planning to execution are invaluable in strengthening our international and joint partnerships, ensures a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

A recent statement released after President Biden’s meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida noted that “exercises like Southern Beach show how closely we are working with our Japanese partners,” Coburn said. “The U.S. Air Force and JASDF have always worked very closely with each other, and I’d like to see that continue.”[1] 


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