US and Japan forces train in rapid airfield damage repair skills

3 September 2019 (Last Updated September 3rd, 2019 14:25)

Personnel from the US Air Force and Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) participated in Pacific Unity 2019 to train in advanced rapid airfield damage repair skills.

US and Japan forces train in rapid airfield damage repair skills
USAF and JASDF civil engineers work together to cut a square around a simulated impact crater as part of rapid airfield damage repair operations at Yokota Air Base, Japan. Credit: USAF / Senior Airman Matthew Gilmore.

Personnel from the US Air Force and Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) participated in Pacific Unity 2019 to train in advanced rapid airfield damage repair skills.

Pacific Unity 2019 involved airmen from throughout the Pacific and service members from JASDF.

The four-day bilateral training at Yokota Air Base, Japan, concluded on 23 August. The objective of the event was to train civil engineer squadrons to make airfields operational after an attack.

374th Civil Engineer Squadron base engineer emergency force manager master sergeant Brent Fallon said: “Pacific Unity is a Pacific Air Forces initiative to bring together civil engineer squadrons from the Republic of Korea and Japan to work alongside our partner nation of Japan’s Kokou Jietai (JASDF) engineers to improve interoperability when it comes to airfield repair.

“To do just that, we put together mixed teams from the 374th CES out of Yokota Air Base, local JASDF from Yokota and Iruma AB, Japan, 51st CES, Osan AB, and 8th CES, Kunsan AB, to learn the process as one, allowing them to be better prepared to work with individuals from different installations, or even nations, to respond to a damaged airfield in the most efficient manner possible.”

During the event, participating civil engineers repaired multiple craters. After learning the process over the first two days, the teams showcased their skills.

The 554th RED HORSE Squadron from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, shared best practices in rapid airfield damage repair operations with the members.

JASDF Operations Support Wing planning division logistics section civil engineer chief captain Tomofumi Okubo said: “Today, we came together as a team to completely repair our simulated airfield damage without much issue.

“From the planning and logistics portion of preparing to the actual execution of the repair, our final product really showed what we are capable of when we work with each other.”