JGSDF, Marines train for vehicle accident response
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa, Japan -- Japan Ground Self-Defense Force military policemen trained with Marine MPs during an evolution at Camp Foster Oct. 2
The training focused on strengthening bilateral relationships and responding to vehicle accidents. The Marine MPs are with the Provost Marshal’s Office, Headquarters and Service Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Butler.
"I am glad to see that we are making good, and I mean collectively, on our promise to strengthen our partnership," said Maj. Mark E. Burrell, PMO deputy provost marshal. "This training is a testament to our focus on keeping that relationship strong."
Thirteen JGSDF MPs with the 136th Western District Military Police, Western Army Military Police, MP Headquarters, participated in the training evolution, which began with classroom instruction before transitioning to practical application, where both Marine and JGSDF MPs responded to and investigated a staged vehicle accident.
The classroom session included periods of instruction from both JGSDF and Marine MPs, ensuring that all parties were familiar with each other’s accident response procedures in the event a bilateral response is required.
"(Working together will be improved) because we now know the people that we are sharing jurisdiction with better," said 1st Lt. Daniel C. Franzen, officer in charge of the special enforcement section, PMO. "Every time, I’ve seen our units work together, everything has gone smoothly because we both know each other and what is in the U.S. Forces Japan agreement."
In addition to discussing jurisdiction, the classroom session addressed both forces’ response procedures ranging from securing the accident scene and collecting evidence to using tread marks and vehicle damage to piece together what happened during the accident.
"They have been to different schools than us, so we can learn from them in regards to different ways to conduct an investigation," said Franzen. "It is always good to work with the JGSDF and learn how they do business."
The JGSDF and Marine MPs practiced what they discussed in the classroom session at a staged two-car accident, providing demonstrations of their response procedures to each other.
"We want to familiarize ourselves with hands-on investigation," said Lt. Col. Hisanori Umemura, provost marshal, 136th Western District Military Police. "Lectures and training are important but doing the hands-on training at the scene will deepen our understanding of the procedures and expand the effectiveness of the training."
This was the second bilateral accident response training event held between PMO and 136th Western District Military Police, according to Franzen.
"The training happened because we both want to build a relationship between our military police units," said Franzen, "We hope to branch out to other training areas in the future."
Working together, side by side, is the key to continuing to build on the current JGSDF and U.S. MP relationship, according to Burrell.
"I can’t emphasize enough that good, constant dialogue will keep the relationship strong and moving forward," said Burrell. "As with every other relationship, this kind of face-to-face interaction plays a large part in that."