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​An HH-60 Pave Hawk from the 33rd Rescue Squadron waits to pick up simulated survivors during Exercise Keen Sword 17 on Nov. 10, 2016, near Okinawa, Japan. USAF photo by A1C Corey M. Pettis.

​US and Japanese military forces recently concluded Keen Sword 17, a large-scale interoperability exercise that included members from all branches of both nations’ forces. Some 11,000 US military personnel participated in the exercise, which kicked off on Oct. 30 and included operations on mainland Japan, Okinawa, and surrounding islands of Guam and Tinian, according to a press release. The exercise involved training scenarios for air and sea, air and missile defense, and ballistic missile defense. The Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s 31st and 33rd rescue squadrons also trained with USAF’s 353rd Special Operations Group in coordination with an ad hoc mobile command unit in order to simulate operations in a deployed environment.