Australia is participating in Exercise Yama Sakura 85 (YS85), a large-scale Command Post Training Exercise involving the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) and United States Army Pacific, for the first time.
Exercise Yama Sakura was first held in 1982 to practise command and control of large-scale combat operations and to improve interoperability between partner nations, and Australia has been an observer for over a decade.
At the conclusion of last year’s Exercise Yama Sakura 83, the Australian Army received an invitation to participate, reinforcing Australia’s strategic partnerships with Japan and the US.
“Australia’s participation in Exercise Yama Sakura 85 is a significant step forward in trilateral cooperation in support of an open, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” said Major General Scott Winter AM, Commander of the 1st (Australian) Division.
YS85 will involve around 230 members of the Australian Army, 1500 US Army personnel and 5300 JGSDF in locations across Japan and Washington State in the USA, and will be the largest ever iteration of this annual command post exercise.
The opening ceremony for Yama Sakura 85 took place on 4 December at Camp Higashi-Chitose, outside Sapporo on Japan’s northern island, Hokkaido.