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3d Marine Division

The Fighting Third

Okinawa, Japan
1st battalion, 2nd Marines work with JGSDF during Forest Light 16-1

By Cpl. Devon Tindle | III Marine Expeditionary Force | September 11, 2015

Marines and Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force members arrived from different parts of Japan to start Forest Light 16-1 which begins Sept. 6 and concludes on Sept.18, 2015 at Camp Imazu, Takashima, Japan.

Forest Light is a semi-annual, bilateral exercise consisting of command post exercises, and multiple field training events, conducted between Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 462, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, and JGSDF 50th Infantry Regiment, 14th Brigade.

“Forest Light is designed to increase the interoperability of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force and the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force by sharing best practices, developing enduring relationships, and improving the communication between our forces,” said Lt. Col Eric Reid, the commanding officer of 1st Bn., 2nd Marines currently assigned to 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force. “Our goal is to be more prepared to fight together against a common adversary.”

Working as one is one of the main efforts of this exercise, according to Col. Tadisha Tanida, the commanding officer of the 50th Infantry Regiment, 14th Brigade.

“We need to understand each other,” said Tanida. “Knowing what each other thinks before something comes up will help us with plans to get through situations as one, and that’s why I think exercises like Forest Light are important for both sides.”