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NEWS | Dec. 30, 2013

Bilateral Seminar Builds Future Leaders

By Airman 1st Class Soo C. Kim 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Yokota held its last bilateral Airman Professional Enhancement Seminar for the year of 2013, here, Dec. 16 - 18.

Eleven Airmen, a Sailor and eight Japan Air Self-Defense Forces members attended the three-day long seminar to gain knowledge and understanding of leadership, and the tools it takes to be successful within their services and how to apply them.

"The course is targeted towards Airmen who attended the First Term Airman Center, but have yet to attend Airman Leadership School," said Tech. Sgt. Norma Grandberry, seminar organizer. "It refreshes their memories in leadership skills and shows Airmen where exactly they can go to find the tools or information they need to succeed."

The students were able to review their knowledge and prepare for the next stage of their career, as well as building partnership with their Japanese counterparts.

"(The course) went over a lot of aspects that we as young Airmen may have forgotten since basic training," said Airman 1st Class Jaclyn Barile, 374th Medical Group admin.

"This seminar helped me prepare for my next rank and what to expect once I make it. It was very educational and I enjoyed the opportunity," said Airman 1st Class Kevin Meissen, 374th Logistics Readiness Squadron materiel management. "At first there was that language barrier, but we still learned from JASDF members."

The seminar was also a rare opportunity for JASDF members.

"In JASDF, Airmen don't have the opportunities to attend these types of seminars," said Senior Airman Satomi Ogasawara, 3rd Depot supplies specialist, Iruma Air Base. "As important partners, I believe it is vital that we understand how the American forces are structured. It was only for three days, but we learned so much."

Since the launch in April of this year, the classes have adapted and evolved to fit the needs of the students.

"This first year has been great. With its initial launch, we took feedback from instructors and students to improve and adjust the curriculum to meet the student's needs, such as implementing interpreted materials and translators for our Japanese counterparts," said Master Sgt. Daniel Chapman, 374th Airlift Wing career assistance advisor. "In the future, we expect to continue with what we implemented, increase the number of students regardless of their service and implement instructors from other services."

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