Japan Ministry of Defense

A Type 90 tank firing
No.19 NOVEMBER 2010

A Type 90 tank firing

28,000 People enjoy Fuji Firepower Review

Spectators enjoy the Firepower Review
Spectators enjoy the Firepower Review

On August 29, the 52nd Fuji Firepower Review of the Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF), was opened to public in the East Fuji Maneuver Area,located in Gotemba City, Shizuoka Prefecture.

The Firepower Review using the modernized firepower was observed by 28,000 people including Minister of Defense Toshimi Kitazawa, Parliamentary Vice-Ministers of Defense Daizo Kusuda and Akihisa Nagashima, General Yoshifumi Hibako, Chief of Staff, GSDF, and General Kenichiro Hokazono, Chief of Staff, Air Self-Defense Forces (ASDF). Lt. General Edward A. Rice Jr., Commander of the US Forces Japan, Major General Francis J. Wiercinski, Commander of the US Army Japan, and the general public.

On August 29, General Hiroshi Yamamoto, Commandant of the Fuji School served as the official in charge, Major General Masanori Ochi, Commander of the Fuji School Brigade served as the exercise division leader. Approximately 2,400 people consisted mainly by the Fuji School Brigade’s infantry school regiment, artillery school unit, tank school unit, and reconnaissance school unit also participated in the review. About 80 tanks and armored vehicles, about 80 various artillery, about 30 aircraft, and about 600 other vehicles also took part in. The event continued for about two hours, with the first part of the exercises covering firing against an enemy’s landing operations, and the second part covering firing through the collaboration of various types of units of GSDF.

At the beginning of the review, two F2 fighters from 8th Air Wing, ASDF entered at low altitude, and as they climbed and turned steeply, explosives went off on the ground. Next, long-range artillery firepower, Type 99 155 mm selfpropelled howitzers, 155 mm howitzer FH70, and 203 mm self-propelled howitzer gave a firing demonstration. The tracer firing that made the shells explode in midair, by slightly staggering the fire-timing of each artillery draw the silhouette of Mt. Fuji was which depicted in the sky 3 km away from the spectator stands, where the audience applauded with great cheer.

After that, 120 mm mortars and other midrange firepower were fired, and close-range shooting was performed by the infantry’s 84 mm recoilless rifles, 35 mm machine gun on Type 89 infantry fighting vehicles and more. After this, Type 90 tanks made running fire and the Airborne Brigade demonstrated flying in a group and free drop.

In the second part, reconnaissance activities were carried out by reconnaissance unit with motorcycles that had been airlifted in by UH-1 utility helicopters. As AH-1S anti-tank helicopter and AH-64D attack helicopter provided covering fire, for troops and high mobility vehicles that lifted by UH-60JA utility helicopters and CH-47JA transport helicopters secured the main points while Type 87 reconnaissance and patrol vehicles broke through the enemy’s territory with receiving covering fire from the artillery unit and tanks. In addition, to prevent a counterattack from the enemy, UH-1 helicopter scattered anti-tank landmines. Type 90 tanks, Type 74 tanks, and Type 89 infantry firing vehicles provided covering fire for an engineering unit that included Type 92 mine-clearance vehicle. In the final, the review ended with conducting a full-forces assault led by the tank company.

In the intermission, the US Army Japan military band gave a musical performance.

After the review, the many visitors crowded around the latest New Tank(trial product), which was displayed in the venue for the first time, and took pictures of the tank.