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US and Japanese personnel are practicing simulated rescue operations together from Komatsu, AB, Japan, during Exercise Keen Sword, according to a release. The biennial field training​ event is designed to improve their ability to protect Japan and respond to natural disasters or crises in the Asia-Pacific region. The exercise runs through Nov. 19. Participating with the Japan Self-Defense Force personnel are airmen from the 33rd Rescue Squadron at Kadena Air Base and the 212th RQS at Eielson AFB, Alaska. "It's always a great when we have the opportunity to work with our Japanese counterparts and build upon our relationship," said Lt. Col. Jameson Dugdale, commander of the 33rd RQS’ deployed force. "This exercise strengthens our partnership by giving us the chance to work together, share cultures, and test tactics," he said. "Rescue operations are important during peacetime and wartime environments," said JASDF Lt. Col. Hiroshi Kageura, Komatsu Air Rescue Squadron commander. "More lives can be saved through bilateral operations," he said.