Japan Self-Defense Force members tour medical facilities
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa, Japan -- Senior medical personnel of the Japan Self-Defense Force visited U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa at Camp Foster and 3rd Medical Battalion’s medical training facilities on Camps Foster, Hansen and Kinser March 27-28.
The visit gave members of the JSDF an opportunity to observe and discuss tactics and techniques used by their American counterparts.
“Our Japanese counterparts are looking to develop a similar type of infrastructure as our forward-resuscitative care and shock trauma platoon,” said Lt. Cmdr. Lisa M. Palacheck, a general surgeon with 3rd Medical Bn., Combat Logistics Regiment 35, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force. “They visited to look at the capabilities we have and how we have set them up throughout Okinawa.”
During the tour, the JSDF medical personnel witnessed procedural-training scenarios from the medical battalion at the III MEF tactical medical simulation center on Camp Hansen.
“I was very impressed by the training facilities and how they enhance the tactics during training scenarios,” said Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Maj. Gen. Yoshiro Oshika, the director of the medical department, ground staff office, JGSDF. “Most of the tactics used here are similar to ours, but we do not have the same equipment they have here. We will have to think about possibly adopting some of their procedures in the future.”
New tactics and abilities enhance knowledge and performance, and the two forces sharing their medical expertise is advantageous for both countries, according to Petty Officer 2nd Class Herbert H. Smith, an instructor at the simulation center.
“Having these training capabilities has decreased the casualty rate for the American military and can help the JSDF,” said Smith. “I’m glad they’re able to take what they can from this visit.”
It is always beneficial to share information because visits and exchanges build relationships and improve capabilities, according to Palacheck. Using advanced training simulators gives service members a chance to hone tactical skills in a controlled environment.
“The learning is mutually beneficial because the Japanese military has knowledge and tactics to offer us as well,” said Palacheck. “We exchanged a decent amount of information. I believe everyone learned something, and they are always welcome to come back to discuss more.”
This is one of many visits the JSDF have made to the U.S. medical facilities on Okinawa. The information exchanged during the visits can benefit all medical personnel by expanding the techniques and procedures used in training, according to Oshika.