A large part of Missouri’s only National Guard infantry unit heads to Japan tomorrow to practice an attack.
Three hundred members of the First Battalion of the 138th Infantry Regiment will fly to the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido and join with Japanese soldiers to practice light infantry quick strike capability.
The unit is relatively new and has been involved in 26 months of hard training including live fire exercises at Fort Leonard Wood. Unit Spokesman Bill Phelan says this exercise steps things up a big notch. “They’re going to have an air assault mission…involving ground troops and…helicopters piloted by Japanese pilots,” he says. He says Missouri does not have room for an exercise of this magnitude.,
Phelan says it’s the kind of quck strike that infantry units make in places like Afghanistan and the soldiers are training in case of deployment there. But he thinks it’s “highly unlikely” the unit will be sent there.
The regiment has its headquarters in Kansas City with units in St. Louis, Boonville, Jefferson City, Perryville, Monett, and Anderson. .