YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Koku Jietai (Japan Air Self-Defense Force) and U.S. Air Force Airmen spent a day sharing practices, training and tools to strengthen interoperability and bilateral relations between the two forces.
Koku Jietai engineers came to Yokota Air Base where they spent the first half of the day in briefings on aircraft arresting systems, water purification and protective measures for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear contaminants.
The briefings were interpreted into Japanese and included a question and answer portion for each topic covered where subject matter experts from Yokota answered the Koku Jietai’s questions.
The last briefing consisted of a “table-top,” detailing how the 374th Civil Engineering Squadron quickly repairs a runway that has been damaged by multiple missile strikes.
The afternoon event was a detailed rapid airfield damage repair demonstration performed by the 374 CES.
The RADR demonstration was to show the Koku Jietai how the 374 CES quickly repairs major airfield damage by actually repairing a simulated flightline damaged by a missile attack. The 374 CES took the Koku Jietai engineers through a step by step process as they accessed damage, cut and removed the damaged section and replaced the area with new concrete.
“The RADR system at Yokota can use up to five teams and 287 pieces of equipment and can repair 18 craters in 2.5 hours,” said Senior Master Sgt. Alexander B. Benedict, 374 CES heavy repair superintendent.
The semi-permanent concrete repair can support any aircraft landings after a two hour cure time, and with a strength greater than that of the existing runway, the concrete can handle 3000 landing before an inspection of its integrity is needed.
According to Maj. Logan D. Smith, 374 CES operations flight commander, the intention of the demonstrations is more than to showcase Yokota’s capabilities but to promote interoperability between the Koku Jietai and USAF engineers and operators. Smith hopes are instead of regular demonstrations conducted between the two forces, they can instead conduct regular bilateral training events where the Koku Jietai and their USAF counterparts can work side by side.
After the demonstration was over the Koku Jietai engineers got to take a spin in the different pieces of equipment used during the demonstration including: forklifts, skid steers with various attachments, front-end loaders and more.
At the end of the day the two forces parted ways with smiles on their faces from their experience of working together.