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Japanese Soldiers Complete US-Led Tomahawk Land Attack Missile Training

The Japan Maritime and Air Self-Defense Forces have completed a Tomahawk land attack missile training under the US Navy in Yokosuka.

The week-long exercise included lessons based on the US Department of Defense’s naval cruise missile curriculum, which involves coordinating shipboard weapons operations as a prerequisite to Full Operational Capability of missile systems.

At the training, Japanese warfighters undertook classroom sessions, walkthroughs, and demonstrations of Tomahawk missiles aboard the USS McCampbell (DDG 85) Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer.

They also received a hands-on review of the subsonic weapon’s control system consoles and corresponding equipment.

The training concluded with the participants showcasing skills in a generic strike mission simulation, the US Navy wrote.

“It was a privilege to conduct Cruise Missile Command training with our Japan Self-Defense Force counterparts over the past few days,” US Surface Combat Systems Training Command Western Pacific Officer in Charge Cmdr. Michael Arnold stated.

“This training marks a significant milestone in Japan’s strategic acquisition of the Tomahawk Weapon Control System and our collaborative first step in mastering this new capability.”

“Together, we fortify our alliance, demonstrating our united commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific and upholding the principles that ensure regional peace, stability, and a rules-based international order.”

USS Preble fires a Tomahawk cruise missile
USS Preble conducts a training launch of an operational Tomahawk cruise missile, September 29, 2010. Image: US Navy/ Petty Officer 1st Class Woody Paschall

Sustaining Deterrence

US Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel visited the Tomahawk training’s shipboard phase and commented on the event.

“We are ahead of schedule, and that’s exactly what we have to do to keep up deterrence and maintain operations within this area of operations,” he said.

“We will give our partners, our allies, the Japanese Navy, the capacity that they are investing in. This is not a one and done, this is going to happen again.”

The Tomahawk Missile

Introduced in the 1980s, the Tomahawk is an all-weather capability commonly used by the US Navy surface and subsurface fleets against enemies ashore.

The weapon is powered by a turbofan engine for a maximum speed of 885 kilometers (559 miles) per hour.

It can carry high-explosive, combined effects, submunitions, or thermonuclear warheads.

Depending on the version, the missile can neutralize threats from 460 to over 1,600 kilometers (286 to 994 miles) away.

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