Washington: The troops have flown to Japan to take part in annual military drills codenamed Orient Shield. Members of the 1st Stryker Brigade from Fort Wainwright, Alaska, will train alongside Japanese troops during the two-week exercise.
AH-64 Apache and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters from the division’s Combat Aviation Brigade will also take part in the drill. US troops will train alongside Japanese soldiers from the 34th Infantry Regiment at East Fuji Maneuver Area.
The troops touched downon Friday amid fears North Korea may fire another intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) towards Japan on Saturday. Captain Adam Bowen, a spokesman for 1st Stryker Brigade, said his team is ready to deal with any provocations from North Korea.
He said: “We’re just focused on the mission at hand and making sure we are ready for anything.” Defence analysts believe the totalitarian nation has been preparing for another launch after staging its sixth and largest nuclear test last weekend.
South Korea believes the secretive state has moved an ICBM to a coastal position in preparation for another test in the coming days. Seoul believes Kim is preparing to launch a ballistic missile on September 9 the anniversary of the founding of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in 1948.
The rogue nation is known for marking holidays with dramatic shows of force such as nuclear tests and missile launches.