Dispatch of transport unit to the Golan Heights and staff officers

SDF personnel leaving Japan for the Golan Heights
SDF personnel leaving Japan for the Golan Heights

On February 18 and March 3, 43 GSDF personnel of the transport unit to the Golan Heights (33rd Unit) and 3 GSDF personnel as staff officers (17th Unit) were dispatched to the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF).

The transport unit to the Golan Heights transports daily supplies required for UNDOF’s operations, among other supplies, to each camp from locations such as ports, airports, and markets in Israel, Syria, and Lebanon. The unit also provides logistical support, including road repair and snow removal work at a mountain range exceeding 2,800m above sea level.

Japan had dispatched two staff officers to UNDOF since February 1996. This number increased to three staff officers in 2009. Staff officers conduct: planning and coordination of logistical support, including transport; public relations activities related to UNDOF operations; and budget-related activities.

1st Unit departs for South Sudan

SDF personnel leaving Japan for South Sudan
SDF personnel leaving Japan for South Sudan

Since mid-January, members of the 1st Unit of the SDF engineer unit have been consecutively dispatched to participate in the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS). On February 20, Lieutenant Colonel Teruo Sakama (the Central Readiness Force Regiment), the head of the engineer unit, along with 120 members of the first contingent of the 1st Unit, arrived in Juba.

The first contingent left Haneda Airport on a chartered airplane on February 19. On the following day, February 20, the contingent boarded two C-130H transport aircraft of the ASDF’s at Entebbe Airport in Uganda and arrived in South Sudan.

At Juba International Airport, SDF personnel who had already arrived in South Sudan and members of the South Sudanese Government welcomed the contingent and Barnaba Benjamin, Minister of Information and Broadcasting, expressed appreciation for the SDF’s dispatch.

With the arrival of the first contingent, the engineer unit stationed in South Sudan now expanded its strength to approximately 180 personnel. By the end of March, the full contingent of the 1st Unit will be in place with the arrival of the approximately 30-member second contingent. From now on, the 1st Unit is expected to build infrastructure at the Unit’s camp to prepare for the arrival of the 2nd Unit, planned to be dispatched sometime around May, as well as to conduct engineering work in and outside of United Nations camp.

Pacific Partnership 2012

Medical activities
Medical activities

acific Partnership is a program hosted by the U.S. Forces since 2007. Participants visit countries in the Asia-Pacific region on a vessel and conduct medical activities and cultural exchanges, among other exercises, with the cooperation of various militaries, international organizations, NGOs, and other organizations. The program is intended to promote the smooth coordination of participating countries and implementation of international disaster relief operations, etc.

For this year’s Pacific Partnership 2012, the Ministry of Defense and Self-Defense Forces(SDF) will dispatch one MSDF vessel, ASDF transport aircraft, and the joint medical team of officers from the GSDF, MSDF, and ASDF. In cooperation with Japanese NGOs and participants from other countries, medical activities, public health education, cultural exchanges, and other activities are expected to be held in the Republic of the Philippines and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam from June to July.

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