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403rd AFSB's battalion participates in exercise Keen Sword 2013

November 21, 2012

By Capt. Ron Jackson, Army Field Support Battalion-North East Asia

YOKOHAMA, Japan (Nov. 21, 2012) -- Members of the Army Field Support Battalion-North East Asia's Yokohama North Dock have supported Keen Sword 2013 by conducting an issue of two Landing Craft Utility 2000 vessels.

Soldiers from 481st Transportation Battalion from the California Army Reserve and 97th Transportation Battalion from Fort Eustis, Va., arrived in Yokohama, Oct. 24, to draw the vessels during a four-day process that included issuance of firefighting equipment and personal protective equipment, vessel inventory, and dock and sea trials.

In the first phase of the operation, Army Field Support Battalion-North East Asia, or AFSBn-NEA, personnel established the Logistics Operation Control Center, Oct. 22, in preparation for issuing. This battalion is part of the 403rd Army Field Support Brigade, located in Daegu, Republic of Korea.

These units are part of the Army Sustainment Command, headquartered at Rock Island Arsenal, Ill.

During the next two days, activities included preparation of Mission Command Support Systems, medical supply inspections, fuel transfers and final staging of equipment.

Upon arriving, the active and reserve military crews received a country orientation, a safety brief and began the joint inventory of Landing Craft Utility vessels, known as LCUs, 2012 and 2020.

Thirty-six personnel worked closely with members of the AFBn-NEA Watercraft Equipment Base to complete all tasks ahead of schedule. Upon completion of inventories and loading of Class I and V supplies, the crew conducted dock and sea trials within Yokohama Bay.

Class I is food and Class V is ammunition.

The crews then took up billeting in the vessels, Oct. 27. During the next two days, crews continued to conduct pre-departure checks and maintenance inspections. Cast-off procedures were then conducted at 5 a.m. Oct. 30 en route to Sasebo, Japan, with an estimated arrival time of Nov. 2.

The vessels were issued in support of Keen Sword 2013, a bilateral exercise with Japan Self-Defense forces intended to bolster relations with both countries and improve military integration.

While in Sasebo, vessels will conduct equipment transportation duties for Japan Ground Self Defense Force equipment until the completion of Keen Sword 2013 at the end of November.

Upon return to Yokohama North Dock, the inspection and inventory process will be repeated.

The commander's intent was to evaluate Army Prepositioned Stock-4 watercraft readiness and the Army's capability to meet watercraft operational requirements and timelines for supporting Army units.

The exercise is an invaluable training opportunity for AFSBn-NEA as it reviewed procedures, and prepared it for the Combined/Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore 2013 exercise scheduled for next spring.

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