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NEWS | Dec. 12, 2013

Enforcers Gain Speed with Japanese Guards

By Senior Airman Derek VanHorn 35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Members of the 35th Security Forces Squadron and Japanese national civilian guards gained speed in law enforcement proficiency as they worked together to slow things down during traffic control training here Dec. 11.

Master Sgt. William Newcomb, 35 SFS training manager, led the first-ever light detection and ranging speed measuring device training with Japanese officers assigned to the base in an effort to further strengthen law enforcement capabilities between the two organizations.

LIDAR devices are used to determine the speed of a moving vehicle, and are commonly referred to as "radar guns" used to identify vehicles traveling faster than the set speed limit.

Katsuyoshi Noguchi staked claim as the first Japanese national civilian guard to be certified with the LIDAR device as he stepped to the street side and sized up passing vehicles. Following a classroom session, Noguchi was required to verbally estimate the speed of five different vehicles and then compare those estimations with the calculations of the LIDAR device, coming within at least 8 kph on each assessment.

He certified after only five attempts, which might have been expected - he's been an officer at Misawa for nearly 18 years. But Noguchi said it's more than being proficient on one single device, and it's important to strengthen the working relationship between the two sides as we share the base.

"Being on a bilateral base, you're going to run into issues every now and then with cultural and language barriers," Newcomb said. "Having these guards running the LIDAR along with us helps breaks down that barrier as we all become equally trained."

Newcomb said the plan is to have all 20 Japanese guards certified in the coming weeks, and the current training status has Japanese officers trained on about 80 percent of military law enforcement tactics. He said the goal is to move that number to 100 percent and steps are already being taken to get there, including the implementation of handheld explosive sniffer devices and taser training in the near future.

"Each time we train together, we grow closer both culturally and from a work standpoint," Newcomb said. "That's our goal - to become as effective as we can as one team."

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