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Photo Information

U.S. Marines with 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment, currently assigned to 3rd Marine Division, and Soldiers with the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, shake hands with their counter parts after the opening ceremony for exercise Forest Light 19.1, in Hijyudai Maneuver Area, Japan, on Dec. 7, 2018. This is the first time in 13 years that the reserve unit 2/23 is active and deployed to the Indo-Pacific region. They will conduct multiple bilateral training exercises in various countries to improve their combat readiness and strengthen international relationships. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Christine Phelps)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Christine Phelps

Exercise Forest Light 19.2 Begins Early February

17 Jan 2019 | 2nd Lt. Brett Vannier 3rd Marine Division

Approximately 400 Okinawa-based U.S. Marines will partner with Japan Ground Self-Defense Force personnel to conduct the semiannual bilateral exercise Forest Light 19.2 from Feb. 4 -15, 2019 in the Aibano Maneuver Area.

Marines from 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment, forward-deployed to 3rd Marine Division as part of the Unit Deployment Program, and elements from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit including a platoon from Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 4th Marines and a detachment from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 262 (Reinforced) will join their JGSDF counterparts from the 7th Infantry Regiment, Middle Army, during the exercise in February.

"Forest Light 19.2 has been a bilateral and collaborative effort between the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force and U.S. Marine Corps forces from planning through execution," Col. Perry, the commander for 4th Marine Regiment, explains. "We look forward to continuing our relationship of working and learning alongside the JGSDF, increasing our interoperability and becoming more effective partners."

Forest Light 19.2 is a tactical example of the U.S. and Japan alliance that has been the foundation of peace and security in the Indo-Pacific for more than 60 years. The strength of our relationship and our shared commitment to the region is critical to our capability to respond to regional and global events including peacekeeping operations, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief.