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JAPAN DEFENSE FOCUS MINISTRY OF · PDF file reconnaissance squadron, reconnaissance operation . by reconnaissance helicopters and a drill for suppression against enemies at a landing

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  • Forces. This year, approximately 400 GSDF members took part in the drill, with over 20 aircraft, including a C-130, a C-1, and CH-47Js and 53 vehicles including 74 tanks and light armored vehicles. To begin with, 1,400 meter drops by members of the reconnaissance squadron, reconnaissance operation by reconnaissance hel icopters and a dri l l for suppression against enemies at a landing site by anti- tank helicopters. A rifle platoon of 80 members then did a drop from a transport aircraft. They carried out simulated combat training such as forming a line of defense with a motor unit and blocking an invasion by enemy armored forces with gaining support of firing from helicopters. Under the fine weather with occasional strong cold winds, about 10,000 spectators turned their intent looks on the a spectacle of the drill. After the airdrop drill was over, the members of the brigade in formed lines, Defense Minister Kitazawa addressed as follows: “Observing the first drill in this new year by the First Airborne Brigade, I feel great pride as Minister of Defense in being here today with the members of the brigade with high morale and proficiency. The Ministry of Defense and the Self-Defense Forces require a ready response to new threats and various situations, and the role of the First Airborne Brigade with superior maneuverability continues to be vital. Much attention tends to be paid to the First Airborne Brigade’s aerial operations, but your operations after landing are also extremely important. I know that you

    have gained the skills necessary for the execution of your miss ions and bui l t up your bodies and disciplined your mind through hard training in which you often have to place yourselves in the extremely severe situation without any sleep and rest in several days. I know that the first airdrop drill is a traditional event for the First Airborne Brigade. I hope that you will enhance the First Airborne Brigade which your predecessors had built up and devote yourselves to training under the command of Major General Nagai to live up to the trust and expectations of the public. I also wish you all the best in health and achievement.

    On January 10, the 2010 airdrop drill by the First Airborne Brigade (Commander: Major General Masahiro Nagai) was conducted at the Narashino Training Ground. This training event takes place annually, and has been open to the public since 1974. There were approximately 10,000 spectators this year. The drill began at 11 a.m., when CH-47 helicopters appeared in the skies over the practice ground. Led by the commander Major General Nagai, the commander of Special Operation Group, Colonel Aoki, Staff Sergeant Hino, the youngest of the brigade, Private Kodera and several other soldiers made a 340 meter parachute jump. Minister of Defense, Toshimi Kitazawa, who had been observing the airdrop, then ascended the platform for the review and the airdrop battle dril l began, observed by senior personnel from the Self-Defense Forces and the Ministry of Defense, National Diet members, and representatives of the United States

    The 2010 airdrop drill by the First Airborne Brigade takes place at the Narashino Training Ground, January 10.

    News Flashes

    Special Photo

    2010 March No.17

    The Latest News on the Ministry of Defense and Self-Defense Forces



    JAPAN DEFENSE FOCUS INSIDE : The disaster assistance e�orts for the Haiti earthquake Termination of Replenishment Support Activities in the Indian Ocean

    Toshimi Kitazawa, Minister of Defense, observing the drill

    The drill takes place under the bright blue sky.

    The airdrop drill was observed by Minister of Defense, Toshimi Kitazawa.


  • Current News

    Medical Assistance in Haiti On January 14, in response to the Haiti earthquake, Ministry of Defense dispatched a member of the Self Defense Forces and a Ministry official to Haiti as a Disaster Relief Investigation Team, together with personnel from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Japan International Cooperation Agency. The next day, January 15, the Minister of Defense, Toshimi Kitazawa, after consultation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, issued a Disaster relief Team dispatch preparation order. Following thie direction, the return to Japan of an Air Self-Defense Force C-130H aircraft which had completed training in Arizona, U.S.A., was canceled and it was subsequently relocated from the Travis Air Force Base in California to the Homestead Air Force base in Miami, Florida, near the Republic of Haiti. The survey team entered the Republic of Haiti on January 16, surveyed the Port-au-Prince Airport, and began coordinating with related organizations. On January 17, it was determined that the airport status allowed for safe operating conditions, and Minster of D e f e n s e K i t a z a w a g a v e a n o r d e r t o i n i t i a t e transportation. The JSDF C-130H aircraft transported the Self-Defense Forces survey team and medical team of Japan International Cooperation Agency to Port-au-Prince airport. By its return flight, the C-130H

    aircraft transported the United States citizens and others who required emergency evacuation to Miami. On January 20, the Minister of Defense ordered the dispatch of a JSDF Medical Assistance Team. In response, the Ground Self-Defense Force Middle Army Commander formed a Haiti Disaster Relief Medical Assistance Team headed by COL Makoto Shirakawa. The team comprised 40 medical and hygiene personnel (including 14 medical officers), 60 logistics support personnel and about 10 personnel as interpreters from the Ground Self-Defense Force Middle Army Headquarters and the Central Readiness Force. The Assistance Team departed Narita Airport for Miami on a charter flight on January 21 and subsequently entered Haiti from Miami by C-130H aircraft. Once on station, the team took over the activities of the medical team of the Japan International Cooperation Agency and support organizations. From January 23, they began medical work in Leogane City, on the outskirts of the capital, Port-au-Prince. On January 21, an ASDF C-130H was dispatched to replace the same type of aircraft of the Air Self-Defense Force Haiti Disaster Relief Airlift Unit. The replacement aircraft took over the airlift mission between Florida and Haiti. Leogane, the base of the Team’s activities, was about 10km west of the quake epicenter, and about 90% of the city’s buildings were destroyed. There was a constant influx of displaced people into Leogane from Port-au-Prince. The Team conducted its medical activities from January 23 for 3 weeks. However, the number of patients with chronic diseases unrelated to the earthquake amounted to over 80% of the total at that time. Considering other factors such as the reopening of local medical establishments, the Minister of Defense issued an order for termination of the international disaster activities on February 12. After the termination of medical activities by the Assistance Team on February 13, the Japanese Red Cross Society

    took over medical support activities on February 14. Between January 23 and February 13, 2954 people were treated. After termination of their activities, the Team flew by C-130H transport to Miami where they boarded a special government aircraft and returned to Japan on February 18.

    On January 12, (January 13 Japan time), the Republic of Haiti, located in the Caribbean Sea, was hit by a magnitude 7 earthquake, with the epicenter about 15km from Port-au-Prince, the capital of the country. As of February 25, the earthquake had claimed about 222,500 lives, about 310,000 injured persons, and rendered about 2,240,000 people homeless. 59,000 people remain missing. Of the Haitian Republic’s total population of 9.61 million, 3.7 million were affected by the quake. In total, approximately 100,500 houses were destroyed and 208,000 more were damaged. The Ministry of Defense/Self-Defense Forces, in response to the Haitian government’s request, dispatched the Disaster Relief Medical Assistance Team. Meanwhile, the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution to increase the staff members of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), and in response to the UN’s request for cooperation, Self-Defense Forces Engineer Unit was dispatched to Haiti based on the International Peace Cooperation Law.

    Dispatch of the Disaster Relief Medical Assistance Team

    Damaged houses in Haiti

    Medical Treatment by Medical Assistance Team in Léogane

    The International Relief Team to Haiti removing rubble

    The Disaster Assistance Efforts for the Haiti earthquake

    Dispatch of International Disaster Relief Team Dispatch of JSDF to MINUSTAH


  • B a c k g r o u n d o f t h e P K O U n i t Dispatch The political situation in the Republic of Haiti became unstable in 2004. Security had also worsened rapidly, leading to the president’s departure from the country. In the same year, the United Nations resolution No. 1542 established the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), to keep the law and order of the country. The Republic of Haiti suffered immense damage from the earthquake, so on January 19, the United Nations Security Council, recognizing the seriousness of the matter and the necessity of emergency response, adopted on a resolution to increase MINUSTAH personnel by 3,500 in order to support the speedy recovery, reconstruction and