JDF JapanDefenseFocus No.68


Participation in the Gender Field Advisor Course

Participation in the Gender Field Advisor Course

An instructor at the Japan Peacekeeping Training & Research Center (JPC), Major Takaaki Tanaka, participated in the Gender Field Advisor Course from August 24th to September 4th, held by the Swedish Armed Forces International Centre (SWEDINT).

A Gender Field Advisor (GFA) refers to a staff member responsible for providing recommendations to commanding officers on how to use a gender perspective in operations and activities.

GFAs have already been incorporated into NATO operations. GFAs, who can be either male or female, have been taking an active part in Afghanistan and Iraq to make local operations more effective and efficient.

This particular Gender Field Advisor Course was attended by a total of 31 participants, including 12 males (including Major Tanaka) and 19 females, from 21 countries, including the U.S., Canada, Australia, Kenya, and Uganda, etc. It seems like that NATO countries are especially seeking the ways of how to play the GFA roles effectively within the activities of their military operations. Major Tanaka learned that Australian Forces, which have sent 3 officers to this course, are trying to introduce a gender perspective into their military activities.

The SDF is also examining the assignment of GFAs as part of its future international peace cooperation activities. Major Tanaka will utilize what he learned from this course in lessons at JPC and also work to introduce and spread the role and approach of GFAs, which is still a new concept in Japan, to a wider audience at the SDF and the MOD.

Northern Rescue 2015 – Disaster Relief Exercise for GSDF Northern Army

Northern Rescue 2015 ? Disaster Relief Exercise for GSDF Northern Army

The Northern Army of the GSDF carried out the disaster relief exercise called “Northern Rescue 2015” from August 26th to 30th with the participation of local governments and the relevant organizations in Hokkaido. It was the first time to conduct disaster drill associated with large-scale field training exercise in Hokkaido.

The purpose of the exercise is to improve the coordination basics with municipalities and effectiveness of joint response capabilities between the SDF, the USFJ, and others in case of Subduction Zone Earthquake around Japan Trench and Chishima Trench. It is important to improve effectiveness of the SDF’s disaster relief capabilities by ensuring cooperation with relevant organizations through this type of disaster relief exercise based on the lessons learnt from the Great East Japan Earthquake, which was the unprecedented wide-scale disaster.

The exercise was held on the supposition of Subduction Zone Earthquake around Japan Trench and Chishima Trench (single type in Hokkaido), triggering a large tsunami. Participating personnel carried out a series of field training exercises ranging from the immediate rescue phase in cooperation with the local governments to stage of the emergency recovery and livelihood support.

Participating forces in the exercise included the GSDF led by the Northern Army, MSDF, ASDF, local governments and related organizations in Hokkaido, as well as USARJ, the U.S. 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force, and the Australian forces.

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