YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -– On a hot summer day at the fire-pit on Yokota Air Base, Japan, Aircraft Rescue and Fire-Fighting specialists assigned to Marine Air Base Iwakuni, Japan, and 374th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters dawned their personal protective gear, grabbed a firehose and battled a raging inferno coming from a simulated aircraft.
From July 16-20, Air Force and Marine firefighters enhanced their firefighting capabilities firsthand during a joint fire training.
“We had the pleasure of hosting the Marines for the entire week,” Said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Floydzell Kimble, 374th CES assistant chief of training. “We not only conducted training for live fire aircraft and structural burns, but flashover scenarios, hazardous material, and repelling, as well.”
Among the Marine firefighters was Lance Cpl. Christian Cozart, Marine Wing Support Squadron 171 ARFF specialist, who spoke about how the opportunity gave a different perspective on how to excel as a firefighter.
“It’s especially important for us to train with Air Force firefighters because we get to learn different ways of accomplishing the same mission,” said Cozart. “From getting to use different types of gear to experiencing different operating procedures, training like this, with other fire departments, impacts us all more than the eye can see; reminding us we can always get better.”
Weather it was training on hazardous materials or battling live fire aircraft burns, the week-long joint fire training gave Airmen and Marines new tools to strengthen their capabilities as firefighters.
“We may be different branches of the military, but we operate as one unit on the fire ground,” said Kimble.