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Extension of SDF Dispatch to Golan Heights

At its January 26 cabinet meeting, the government decided to extend for half a year the term of dispatch of Self-Defense Force units to the Golan Heights, in the Middle East, for the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF). Based on this decision Minister of Defense Fumio Kyuma ordered that the 23rd Golan Heights dispatch transport unit be organized. The unit, comprising 43 personnel mainly from the 13th Brigade of the Middle Army, departed for the Middle East on February 23.

SDF personnel at work in the Golan Heights SDF personnel at work in the Golan Heights
SDF personnel at work in the Golan Heights

JSO Chief of Staff Saito's Inspection of Iraq Transportation Wing

Joint Staff Office Chief of Staff Admiral Takashi Saito visited Kuwait January 27-31. While there, he inspected the Air Self- Defense Force's 11th Iraq Reconstruction Support Transportation Wing, stationed at Ali Al Salem Air Base, and encouraged the personnel. After his return to Japan, he said, "I am proud that the transportation wing representing Japan is conducting airlift activities between Kuwait and Iraq and contributing to the reconstruction of Iraq in the harsh environment of the Middle East."

Admiral Saito (left) inspecting the Support Airlift Wing in Kuwait Admiral Saito (left) inspecting the Support Airlift Wing in Kuwait
Admiral Saito (left) inspecting the Support Airlift Wing in Kuwait

1st Airborne Brigade's First Drop Maneuver of the Year

On January 7 the 1st Airborne Brigade of the Ground Self-Defense Force conducted its first drop maneuver of the year at the Narashino Training Ground, located in Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture. Minister of State for Defense (now Minister of Defense) Fumio Kyuma, Chief of Staff of the Ground Staff Office General Tsutomu Mori, other guests, and about 6,000 local residents and other citizens watched the maneuvers, which involved 17 aircraft and 37 ground vehicles. The high point was the parachute descent by 1st Airborne Brigade personnel, a fixture of the annual first drop maneuver.

Scenes of the 1st Airborne Brigade’s drop maneuver Scenes of the 1st Airborne Brigade’s drop maneuver
Scenes of the 1st Airborne Brigade’s drop maneuver