JDF JapanDefenseFocus No.68

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Fuji Firepower Review 2015

Fuji Firepower Review 2015

On August 23rd, the annual Fuji Firepower Review was held in the Hataoka District of the East Fuji Maneuver Area located in Gotemba City, Shizuoka Prefecture. The Head of the GSDF Fuji School, LTG Hiroyuki Watabe, served as the officer in charge of the training; and the Head of the Fuji School Brigade, MG Kazuo Komori, served as the commanding officer of the training corps. Defense Minister Gen Nakatani; Chief of Joint Staff, ADM Katsutoshi Kawano; GSDF Chief of Staff, GEN Kiyofumi Iwata; MSDF Chief of Staff, ADM Tomohisa Takei; ASDF Chief of Staff, Gen Harukazu Saitoh; and officials from the U.S. forces made an inspection of the review. The scenario for this year’s exercise was to recapture remote islands occupied by an enemy force, with the GSDF, MSDF, and ASDF demonstrating their joint operations capabilities in front of a crowd of approximately 26,000 onlookers.

Approximately 2,300 personnel from various units took part as well as 70 armored vehicles and tanks, 60 artilleries, 20 aircraft, and around 600 other types of vehicles. Some 36 tons of live munitions were used (costing around 390 million yen in total) for the exercise.

The exercise consisted of two parts. In the first part, live shooting exercises were carried out as a way of introducing some of Japan’s mainstay defense equipment. In the second part, under the scenario of recapture of remote islands, the exercise was carried out in three stages: troop deployment, mobile deployment, and recapture.


At the stage of troop deployment, ASDF F-2 fighter jets carried out missile attack based on information of enemy vessels collected by MSDF P-3C patrol aircraft. Against enemy vessels approaching to remote islands, GSDF’s surface-to-ship missile and multi-purpose missile were fired. At the stage of mobile deployment, following the reconnaissance activity using motorcycles and reconnaissance helicopters, an advance unit flew down from a transport helicopter and secured pivotal place by performing attacks and moving forward. They then conducted logistic support of supplies for units. At the recapture stage, following forced breakthrough by a reconnaissance unit, a firepower attack unit conducted artillery preparation. Subsequently, a heliborne unit, a tank unit, and other units performed their attacks. The units then broadened military accomplishments showing off more attacks.

Shortly after the review, one MV-22 Osprey, new transport aircraft, flew over the East Fuji Maneuver Area for showing its capability. This Osprey belongs to MCAS Futenma (Ginowan City, Okinawa) and was conducting training of taking-off and landing at the Maneuver Area and other locations.

Fuji Firepower Review is the only live fire exercise by the GSDF open to the general public. This year marks the 57th commencement of the annual Fuji Firepower Review since the first in 1961.

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