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Marines load onto a high speed vessel at Kin Red beach Feb. 10 set for the Hokkaido-dai Maneuver Area in Eastern Hokkaido, Japan for exercise Forest Light 13-3. The Marines will spend an estimated four days on the HSV in route to Hokkiado, Japan where they will prepare for the exercise to begin Feb. 22. The Marines participating in the exercise are with Company I, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment (Reinforced), 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force.

Photo by Pfc. Kasey Peacock

Marines, sailors from Okinawa train with JGSDF partners

26 Feb 2013 | 1st. Lt. Taylor Clarke Marine Corps Installations Pacific

More than 50 Marines and sailors from 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force participated in the opening ceremony with members of the Japan Ground Self Defense Force for Exercise Forest Light 13-3 in the Hokkaido-dai Maneuver Area in Eastern Hokkaido, Japan today.

Forest Light is a routine, semi-annual exercise, which enhances the readiness of U.S. Marine Corps and Japan Ground Self-Defense forces and is in accordance with the Japan-U.S. Treaty of Mutual Security and Cooperation.

During the exercise, elements of the 3rd Marine Division will join with the 11th Infantry Regiment, 7th Armored Division, Northern Army, of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force to conduct bilateral training.

Forest Light 13-3 will consist of a command post exercise and field training events to include ski marching, medium machine gun live fire and cold weather operations.

"This is a great opportunity not only to learn from each other and exchange ideas and techniques, but to forge new friendships and build upon our relationship with our Japanese counterparts," said Capt. Tyler Holt, commanding officer of Company I, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment which is currently assigned to 4th Marines, 3rd Marine Division, III MEF under the Unit Deployment Program.

The purpose of Forest Light is to enhance the partnership between the U.S. and Japan, and increase interoperability of forces and improve individual and unit-level skills.

Download high-resolution photos of Exercise Forest Light 13-3 at the following link: