Commanding General of U.S. Army Japan visits Army of the North; builds relationships to increase interoperability | Article

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U.S. Army Japan Commanding General Maj. Gen. JB Vowell (left) meets with Director General Saburo Ishikura at the Hokkaido Defense Office in Sapporo, Japan, Aug. 23, to promote the sharing of information and cooperation. Vowell traveled to the Hokkaido region of Japan, Aug. 22-24, to discuss the future of security cooperation and bilateral training opportunities with the Northern Army Force Japan’s ground self-defense. (U.S. Army photo by Major Frank Camara)
(Photo credit: Major Devon Thomas)

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Commanding General of U.S. Army Japan visits Army of the North;  builds relationships to increase interoperability








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U.S. Army Japan Commanding General JB Vowell (left) meets with Northern Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. Yoshihiko Okimura at the Northern Army Self-Defense Force Headquarters of Japan at Camp Sapporo, Japan, Aug. 23 to discuss methods of improving interoperability. Vowell traveled to the Hokkaido region of Japan, Aug. 22-24, to discuss the future of security cooperation and bilateral training opportunities with the JGSDF. (US Army by Major Frank Camara)
(Photo credit: Major Devon Thomas)

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U.S. Army Japan Commanding General JB Vowell (center) meets with Northern Army Commanding General Maj. Gen. Yoshihiko Okimura (center-left) at the headquarters of the Northern Army’s Joint Force Self-Defense Force at Camp Sapporo, Japan, Aug. 23 to enhance security cooperation and discuss methods of improving interoperability. (U.S. Army photo by Major Frank Camara)
(Photo credit: Major Devon Thomas)

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CAMP ZAMA, JAPAN–US Army Maj. Gen. JB Vowell, Commanding General, U.S. Army Japan, visited Hokkaido, Japan, Aug. 22-24.

Vowell met with Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) Northern Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. Yoshihiko Okimura and Director General Saburo Ishikura of the Hokkaido Defense Bureau to discuss cooperation future security and bilateral training opportunities.

“Our most important mission is to partner with the JGSDF. Japan is our frontline ally in the region. Our relationship is critical to maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Vowell said.

Vowell also visited the Northern Army’s Yausubetsu training area with Lt. Gen. Hiroe Jiro, commander of the JGSDF’s Training Evaluation Research and Development Command, their training headquarters. and education.

Yausubetsu provides ground forces with the opportunity to conduct bilateral maneuvers and live-fire training in an arctic environment. The U.S. Army conducted its first live-fire HIMARS in Japan in June 2021 at the training area during the annual bilateral exercise Orient Shield.

Vowell also met with senior official Mark Wuebbels at the US Consulate General in Sapporo to discuss possibilities for strengthening the US-Japan alliance.

Commanding Sgt. Maj. Jerry Dodson, the U.S. Army Japan command sergeant major, visited senior enlisted leaders during the trip. He participated in a senior enlisted exchange with leaders from the JGSDF and Army Northern Ground Staff Office.

“Through increased interoperability, information sharing and expanded access across the region, we present a credible, interoperable deterrent to the adversary in competition, crisis and conflict,” Vowell said.

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