Open house, open partnership
KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- Partnership – the beginning of what it takes to come together, work together and protect a community.
The 18th Security Forces Squadron hosted an open house event for more than 50 local Okinawan police officers here Sept. 2.
The purpose of this event was to enhance the relationship between the 18th SFS and the local police, who already share the common goal and responsibility of protecting all of us in our day-to-day lives. Teams exchanged tactics and security knowledge to improve coordination for future operations.
“It improves our relationship for protecting the community and fosters effective communication,” said Lt. Col. Sarah Babbitt, 18th SFS commander. “It opens up those lines of communication. This same time last year when we did the first open house, both police chiefs said it was the first time they had been onto the base and invited to do something like this in 20 years.”
During their visit, local police officers had the opportunity to see security tactics and tools used by the 18th SFS. The local police also demonstrated their tactics to Kadena’s security forces members.
“At this event, we’re able to know each other and exchange our knowledge of security,” said Yoshimitsu Matsusaki, Kadena Police Station chief. “For us, it was a very good chance to exchange and share our thoughts and knowledge. When an accident or something happens, it makes it easier to help share information and work more smoothly.”
In addition to seeing the tactics used by security forces, the local police were able to see an F-15 Eagle on Kadena’s flightline, a rare opportunity afforded to few.
“We took a photo in front of an F-15,” said Hajime Shinzato, Okinawa Police Station chief. “I think it shows the friendship of us all. Not many people get to go there to see the F-15s. It was a good opportunity, not just for me, but for everyone from the Okinawa Police Station.”
Matsusaki said the inclusion of every member, well-experienced and junior, within both departments in this event makes the relationship stronger.
“I’m really proud to be a part of something like this,” said Babbitt. “To be a part of improving relations, to be a part of learning about their culture and what they have to offer us, and being able to show them what capabilities we bring to the fight, so that they know if they ever need us, to defend them, we’re there for them, we’ve got their backs.”