Precision Guided Partnerships
KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- Approximately 30 members of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force ordnance school visited the 18th Munitions Squadron Jan. 11, gaining insight as to how U.S. ordnance units operate.
The visit allowed ordnance school students, who specialize in logistics and supply, to learn about the U.S. munitions functions and units on Okinawa, while strengthening the U.S.-Japan security alliance and to provide regional peace and stability
“The students were able to learn about the latest equipment the United States uses,” said JGSDF Col. Naoki Tomiyoshi, 1st Educational Department Ordnance School director. “They also learned about the management of the different weapons and the important safety measures used.”
These student officers are participating in a year-long course where, upon completion, they will go to command positions in JGSDF units all over Japan.
“These exchanges really strengthen our relationship with the host nation, not just militarily but personally as well,” said Master Sgt. Matthew Schley, 18th Munitions Squadron precision guided munitions section chief. “It just goes to show how far we’ve come, working with the Japanese, especially in the munitions area where we work hand in hand with JASDF almost every day and we support them as much as we can and they support us as well.”
The students spent the day touring U.S. bases around Okinawa learning about their operations and interacting with their American counterparts in an effort to increase bilateral interoperability and build friendships.
Upon arriving to Kadena, the JGSDF members were given a tour of Kadena’s munitions storage area.
Along the way, U.S. Airmen gave them tours of buildings where munitions are stored and briefings about each place’s operations and equipment.
Schley expressed the importance of this work and cultural exchange.
“This experience gave our Airmen a different insight into their job,” said Schley. “These guys are interested in what we do out here and they’re going to take some of what we talked about back to their force and use it in their day to day operations.”
Afterward, Tomiyoshi expressed his gratitude to Kadena for hosting them on the base.
“This experience will enhance the students’ knowledge and training,” said Tomiyoshi. “Experiencing the little things helps us to continue to learn from each other. This kind of interaction enhances our relationship.”