Aussies’ first participation in Ex Yama Sakura

Australia is participating in Exercise Yama Sakura (YS85) for the first time, enhancing  interoperability and mutual defence capability with Japan and the United States.

CAPTIONAustralian Army, United States Army and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force personnel at the opening ceremony of Exercise Yama Sakura 85.

More than 200 ADF personnel, mostly from the 1st (Australian) Division, will take part in the large-scale Command Post Training Exercise involving the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) and United States Army Pacific.

For more than a decade Australia has been an observer at Yama Sakura (which means mountain cherry blossom). The Australian Army was invited to participate at the conclusion of last year’s exercise (YS83).

The exercise was first held in 1982.

Speaking at the opening ceremony in Hokkaido yesterday, Commander of the 1st (Australian) Division, Major General Scott Winter, said Australia’s participation in YS85 was a significant step forward in trilateral cooperation in support of an open, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific.

“No matter where we train, as long as we train together, we will be stronger for the experience,” Major General Winter said.

The Australians will participate with 1500 US Army personnel and 5300 JGSDF personnel at locations across Japan and Washington State in the largest iteration of the  exercise.





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