Marine Corps gears up for exercises with Pacific partners

By Nick Wilson / September 29, 2022 at 2:30 PM

The Marine Corps is preparing to begin two large-scale bilateral exercises with key Pacific allies, Japan and the Philippines, according to a Thursday announcement from the service.

In early October, Marines will join members of the Philippine Marines, Navy and Air Force for KAMANDAG 6 in Luzon, Batanes, and Palawan in the Philippines. While in Hokkaido, Japan, 1,600 U.S. Marines will join 1,400 Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) members for Resolute Dragon 22.

The KAMANDAG 6 exercise, which will run from Oct. 3-14, aims to improve joint amphibious operations for maritime security and coastal defense. The event will also involve live-fire exercises with aircraft and High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) over central Luzon.

Resolute Dragon 22, the second iteration of the exercise, will also involve live-fire testing of HIMARS in addition to the JGSDF’s Multiple Launch Rocket System. Resolute Dragon 22’s goals include improving bilateral command and control and multidomain maneuverability. The event spans Oct. 1-14.

The 3d Marine Division headquarters in Okinawa, Japan will perform command and control for all U.S. forces involved in both exercises, according to the announcement.

Aircraft participating in the two exercises include the F-35B Lightning II, MV-22B Osprey, CH-53E Super Stallion, AH-1Z Viper, UH-1Y Venom, KC-130J Super Hercules and F/A-18 Hornet.

“Resolute Dragon and KAMANDAG are important opportunities to bolster the defensive capabilities of our alliances with Japan and the Philippines through realistic combined training,” Maj. Gen. Jay Bargeron, 3d Marine Division Commanding General, said in a statement included in the release. “These exercises will allow our forces to strengthen interoperability and readiness to ensure we are prepared to rapidly respond to crisis throughout the Indo-Pacific.”