Friday, October 12, 2012

Nippon Teufel Hunden!

The land of backward comics, Harijuku Girls, and cool robots - Japan is HOT! Instead of scary missiles and secret police - Japan built a fun, rich democratic tech saavy, tolerant, egalitarian society with a free, uncensored press, transparent, periodic elections, and independent judiciary that hasn't bothered anyone in over six decades A literacy rate of over 99%, Nippon is a wonderful example of the human spirit unbound.

Great Satan nurtured, protected and traded with Japan as she forsook Bushido, Shinto and aggressive semi totalitarian style military rule. Hooking up with constitutional pacifism after the Great Satan's very first new clear regime change, she rehabed from a horrible war and begat global economic power.

"From the Mount of Suribachi to the shores of Philippines..."

Whoa, whoa and doppel whoa!!

Check it ya"ll - Nippon has her own brand spanking new Devil Dog Teufel Hunden!!
Japan’s burgeoning amphibious warfare capability has been in the news lately, as Japanese troops have been exercising with U.S. Marines on the island of Guam. This is not exactly a new thing, and has been in the works for some time now. In fact, it probably would have been buried again had the exercises, planned months in advance, coincided with rising tensions over the Senkaku islands.

Marines have been banned in modern Japan because marines take things away from other countries. Like aircraft carriers, they are considered tools of offensive warfare. That is, until Japan needs them. There are marines and there are marines, and Japan has decided that the kind of marines that land on Japanese territory to take them back are okay.

Initial training in amphibious operations was undertaken by an unidentified GSDF brigade, possibly the 1st Combined (formerly 15th Brigade) on Okinawa. Eventually the Western Army Infantry Regiment, based in Nagasaki, was tasked the amphibious mission. The location ensures that the WAIR can be quickly embarked on MSDF ships at Nagasaki/Sasebo. The unit would probably be loaded onto one of three Oosumi-class Landing Ship, Tank vessels, which have well decks to accommodate small boats or hovercraft.

The Western Army Infantry Regiment is actually of battalion size, consisting of at least three–possibly four–infantry companies. The regiment has no vehicles except for small Toyota jeeps. One company per year is sent to San Diego in the spring for the annual “Iron Fist” exercises where they train with U.S. Marines in a variety of operations, from beach landings to passage of lines exercises. The exercises have been going on since 2006, so if an article tells you the Japanese are still picking up a lot of the basics, it’s probably off-base.

The WAIR has only limited means for getting ashore. At this time they have only been photographed carrying out landings via Combat Inflatable Craft. The MSDF has Landing Craft, Medium and American-built Landing Craft Air Cushion hovercraft but lacking armored transport, the WAIR appears to favor stealth. Speaking of armored transport, Japan recently announced it is procuring four AAV-7 amphibious assault vehicles of the kind the U.S. Marines use. Such vehicles would afford a platoon of WAIR troops armored protection up to and onto the beachhead.

The WAIR is kind of a go-it-alone infantry force. It has no air support, except for machine guns mounted on JMSDF helicopters. It has no heavy vehicles except for the AAV-7s, which won’t be available for another year. Of course, armored vehicles could always be cross-attached to the WAIR, and it’s convenient that the new Type 10 tank maxes out at 44 tons and can be outfitted with a dozer plow.

 Will they perform their mission well? The GSDF has never been in combat. It’s hard to say. They seem to be well-trained, and are mentored by the most proficient amphibious force in the world. The odds are in their favor. Let’s hope we don’t have to find out.

Pic - "Stealth Build up!"