The 19th year of a U.S.-Japan military exercise in Central Washington peaked today with batteries of American canons collaborating with hundreds of soldiers from their Pacific ally in one of their biggest joint-drills yet.
Both nations stepped up their contributions to so-called Operation Rising Thunder this year. Each side sent about 500 service members to take part in the three-week exercise, said Army Capt. Cynthia Holuta.
For the Americans, the extra troops reflect the Pentagon’s reemphasis on the Pacific as well as a chance for soldiers to refresh combat skills they can’t exercise at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
The Japanese have long …