After the initial staff exercise, ARC-21 will continue with a field training exercise that’s set to begin at Kirishima Maneuver Area. The training includes casualty evacuation, simulated fire support coordination, expertise exchange on different combat matters and combat service support between JSDF and U.S. military personnel.
For the culminating field training event, ships from each nation will perform a multilateral amphibious air assault on an established target area. Together, they will prepare landings and air assaults and will conduct various maneuvers, communication drills and air defense exercises. USS New Orleans (LPD 18), part of Amphibious Squadron 11, is one of the ships that are participating in ARC 21, as well as an Osumi-Class landing ship and two guided-missile patrol boats from the JSDF.
USS New Orleans (LPD 18) is a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship. It was the second to be assigned to Amphibious Squadron 11, in 2019, joining the USS Green Bay (LPD 20) that has been deployed 4 years earlier. It’s equipped with an advanced command and control suite and it provides cargo lift and carrying capabilities. This allows a rapid transfer of personnel and equipment, via a landing craft and Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, which is essential in amphibious assault operations.
During the culminating event of ARC-21, first, reconnaissance Marines and JSDF soldiers will monitor the target. Then, a Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey aircraft from the USS New Orleans ship will carry French infantry forces, for the actual air assault. Additional JSDF forces and Marines will provide fire support throughout the assault.