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JASDF prepares for new security role
FUCHU AIR BASE, Japan -- Tech. Sgt. Johnnie Payton, 374th Security Forces Squadron flight chief, trains a security guard from the Japan Air Self Defense Force on how to properly approach a suspicious vehicle during field training here Mar. 4. 5th Air Force and 374th Airlift Wing Airmen are helping to train approximately 35 JASDF security guards as they prepare to stand up the Air Self Defense Force's first squadron devoted to advanced security training. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Will Powell)
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Airmen help prepare JASDF counterparts for new security role

Posted 3/8/2011   Updated 3/8/2011 Email story   Print story


by Capt. WIll Powell
5th Air Force Public Affairs

3/8/2011 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- A small group of security forces Airmen here are helping their Japanese counterparts stand up the Air Self Defense Force's first-ever advanced security training squadron.
JASDF security guards from the new Base Defense Development and Training Squadron will travel throughout Japan instructing other security guards on advanced base defense tactics after the squadron officially opens in April.

In the past, the role of JASDF security guards has focused more on traditional security police responsibilities--such as gate sentry or patrolling duties--and less on functions like combat maneuvering. But that's changing. With the establishment of this new squadron, JASDF is beginning to transform its security training and operations into something more similar to U.S. Air Force security forces.

"We're trying to establish a common standard of training for our security guards that resembles the training U.S. Airmen receive," said JASDF Maj. Ryuji Yamawaki, BDDTS chief of control and research. "This world is facing new threats, and we have to be prepared."

To help prepare the security guards for this expanded role, JASDF asked 5th Air Force to help "train the trainer," said Capt. John Davids, 5th Air Force A7S chief of operations and lead project officer.

"We were already looking for ways to increase our bilateral engagements, so helping JASDF stand up this new squadron has been the perfect opportunity to strengthen our relationship," he said.

Captain Davids and Master Sgt. Eric Haeseker, 5th Air Force A7S manager, began training sessions and engagements with the squadron's leadership in September. And in February, the JASDF security guards began monthly field training at nearby Fuchu Air Base. 5th Air Force and 374th Security Forces Squadron Airmen supervised and provided guidance on U.S. Air Force tactics, techniques and procedures.

"We include training events that JASDF wants to see, and so far we've covered team movement tactics, challenging suspicious vehicles, response to near and far side ambush, and building entry procedures," said Sergeant Haeseker. "The JASDF Airmen are highly motivated, and they seem to really enjoy the training we've offered them. I'm confident that should we face a real emergency, we'll be able to work well together."

Major Yamawaki said learning from Airmen who have real combat experience has been very helpful for preparing the squadron.

"This training has been very practical, and we'd like to continue training with our U.S. counterparts for as long as we can," he said.

Sergeant Haeseker said 5th Air Force couldn't conduct the training without the help of the 374th SFS. Tech. Sgt. Johnnie Payton, 374th SFS flight chief and member of the training team, said training together positively impacts the mission.

"This training puts us on the same page. We're communicating as a team, and working toward completing the mission. Training hard together like this can ultimately save lives," said Sergeant Payton.

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