JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii - U.S. military personnel will partner with Japanese Self-Defense Forces in Japan Dec. 3 through 10 to conduct joint-bilateral training during Exercise Keen Sword 2011.

The Commander of 13th Air Force, Lt. Gen. Hawk Carlisle, and Gen. Ryoichi Oriki, Chief of Staff, Japan Joint Staff will direct the exercise.

A large and complex exercise, Keen Sword 2011 involves all components of U.S. Joint Forces and Japanese Self-Defense Forces training to conduct bilateral operations in support of the defense of Japan in a number of locations throughout the country. The purpose and value of the training is to facilitate the interaction and improve the interoperability of both militaries.

"In 1960, Japan and the U.S. signed the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security," said General Carlisle. "Participation in Keen Sword further enhances the Japan-U.S. alliance, which remains a key strategic relationship in the Asia-Pacific region."

Training between Japan Self-Defense Forces and U.S. military forces has been a routine, recurring event for many years. Keen Sword 2011 is the tenth joint-bilateral field training exercise since 1986.

"The alliance has served as the foundation of our security and prosperity for 50 years," said General Carlisle. "By conducting exercises such as Keen Sword we are ensuring that our forces will continue to be effective in meeting the challenges of the 21st century."

The biennial Keen Edge-Keen Sword exercise series alternates between Keen Sword, a field training exercise, and Keen Edge, a command post exercise.