Fuji Firepower Review 2013

On August 25, the Fuji Firepower Review was conducted in the Hataoka District of the East Fuji Maneuver Area located in Gotemba City, Shizuoka Prefecture. Fuji School Head Seiichi Takeuchi served as the officer responsible for the exercise, while Fuji School Brigade Head Yasumi Ichino acted as the commanding officer. The exercise was attended by Minister of Defense Onodera as well as Chief of Staff of the Joint Staff Iwasaki, GSDF Chief of Staff Kimizuka, ASDF Chief of Staff Saito, and officials from the U.S. military. Despite the bad weather, approximately 28,000 people from the general public also watched the live-firing combat exercise involving tanks and artillery.

The inclement weather and fog caused the partial cancellation of ASDF F-2 fighter and MSDF P-3C patrol plane flights as well as bombing runs and some of the live surface-to-ground ordinances. Following an actual firing exhibition of primary equipment, footage from the U.S.–Japan joint exercise Dawn Blitz held in California in June to help strengthen the water and land operations of the GSDF was shown to the crowd on a big screen. Afterwards, similar to last year, a live-fire exercise predicated on the defense of Japan’s islands was held in which multipurpose missiles, artillery, and special firepower was used to combat anti-ship attacks, helicopter-borne attacks, and reconnaissance activities. In the “attack by the front line unit”, four Type-10 main battle tanks that have defense capabilities, which can fire in a slalom formation at speeds of 70km per hour, and boast overall robust firepower and networking capabilities, participated in and successfully accomplished its mission. The units mutually shared information and simultaneously launched rounds at multiple targets, expanding the theater of engagement and eventually attaining the purpose of the exercise.

This year marked the 55th time that the Fuji Firepower Review has been held in front of the general public since it was started back in 1961.

Approximately 2,300 personnel from various units, 90 tanks and armored vehicles, 50 types of artillery, 20 aircraft, and 600 units of other vehicles took part in the exercise. Each year the number of people from the general public that wish to attend increases, as the chances of being selected to attend has reached one in twenty registrants.

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