Camp Pendleton Marine Expeditionary Unit to conduct last component of “Iron Fist 2013” with Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force

CAMP PENDLETON – The Camp Pendleton-based 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit this week will conduct the last key component of an annual joint training exercise with the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force.

The exercise, dubbed Iron Fist 2013, is designed to increase interoperability between the 13th MEU and the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force, according to 1st Lt. Dana Mitchell, public affairs officer for the 13th MEU.

The final key event is scheduled to be conducted at the North County installation Wednesday and Thursday. Marines and Japanese forces plan to highlight a ship-to-shore movement using amphibious equipment and helicopters, Mitchell said.

That will be followed by a combat training through a simulated town, Mitchell said.

More than 500 members of the 13th MEU have been training with the JGSDF to enhance relations and sharpen crisis response skills.

The amphibious assault ship USS Boxer, which served as a launch point for a simulated raid on San Clemente Island, hosted the exercise that began Feb. 5, Navy officials said.

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