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Kadena hosts joint training to boost INDOPACOM interoperability

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Thomas Nollie carries U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Jesse Pedrero, both Okinawa Joint Experience Green Team students, during the Okinawa Joint Fitness Challenge Sept. 26, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Service members from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps were equally broken up into four classes to provide a joint learning environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Thomas Nollie carries U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Jesse Pedrero, both Okinawa Joint Experience Green Team students, during the Okinawa Joint Fitness Challenge Sept. 26, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Service members from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps were equally broken up into four classes to provide a joint learning environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)

Members of the Green Team celebrate after being announced the winner of the Okinawa Joint Fitness Challenge Sept. 26, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The OJFC was designed to mimic obstacles and challenges faced in the battlefield such as sprinting, running ammunition cans, transporting wounded personnel to safety and tossing simulated grenades. Each team competed for the best time, however the final challenge brought all four teams together. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)

Members of the Green Team celebrate after being announced the winner of the Okinawa Joint Fitness Challenge Sept. 26, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The OJFC was designed to mimic obstacles and challenges faced in the battlefield such as sprinting, running ammunition cans, transporting wounded personnel to safety and tossing simulated grenades. Each team competed for the best time, however the final challenge brought all four teams together. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)

Members of the Blue Team compete in a game of tug-of-war during the Okinawa Joint Fitness Challenge Sept. 26, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The OJFC was a portion of the OJE that enabled students to bond while overcoming obstacles and challenges faced in the battlefield. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)

Members of the Blue Team compete in a game of tug-of-war during the Okinawa Joint Fitness Challenge Sept. 26, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The OJFC was a portion of the OJE that enabled students to bond while overcoming obstacles and challenges faced in the battlefield. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)

U.S. service members take a break during the Okinawa Joint Fitness Challenge Sept. 26, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Service members from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps were equally broken up into four classes to provide a joint learning environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)

U.S. service members take a break during the Okinawa Joint Fitness Challenge Sept. 26, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Service members from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps were equally broken up into four classes to provide a joint learning environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)

U.S. Marine Corps 1st Sgt. Michael Collins, Okinawa Joint Experience instructor, updates each team’s score during the Okinawa Joint Fitness Challenge Sept. 26, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. After calculating points from the push-up challenge, combat fitness challenge and tug-of-war, the Green Team was determined the winner of the OJFC. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)

U.S. Marine Corps 1st Sgt. Michael Collins, Okinawa Joint Experience instructor, updates each team’s score during the Okinawa Joint Fitness Challenge Sept. 26, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. After calculating points from the push-up challenge, combat fitness challenge and tug-of-war, the Green Team was determined the winner of the OJFC. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)

U.S. Marine Corps 1st Sgt. Michael Collins, Okinawa Joint Experience instructor, updates each team’s score during the Okinawa Joint Fitness Challenge Sept. 26, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. After calculating points from the push-up challenge, combat fitness challenge and tug-of-war, the Green Team was determined the winner of the OJFC. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)

U.S. Marine Corps 1st Sgt. Michael Collins, Okinawa Joint Experience instructor, updates each team’s score during the Okinawa Joint Fitness Challenge Sept. 26, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. After calculating points from the push-up challenge, combat fitness challenge and tug-of-war, the Green Team was determined the winner of the OJFC. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Jesse Pedrero motivates U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Cory Gargus, both Okinawa Joint Experience Green Team students, while he carries ammo cans during the Okinawa Joint Fitness Challenge Sept. 26, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Service members from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps were equally broken up into four classes to provide a joint learning environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Jesse Pedrero motivates U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Cory Gargus, both Okinawa Joint Experience Green Team students, while he carries ammo cans during the Okinawa Joint Fitness Challenge Sept. 26, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Service members from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps were equally broken up into four classes to provide a joint learning environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Jesse Pedrero motivates U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Cory Gargus while he carries U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Monty Baze, Okinawa Joint Experience Green Team students, during the Okinawa Joint Fitness Challenge Sept. 26, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Service members from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps were equally broken up into four classes to provide a joint learning environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Jesse Pedrero motivates U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Cory Gargus while he carries U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Monty Baze, Okinawa Joint Experience Green Team students, during the Okinawa Joint Fitness Challenge Sept. 26, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Service members from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps were equally broken up into four classes to provide a joint learning environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Emily Pall, Okinawa Joint Experience Green Team student, reaches for a baseball during the Okinawa Joint Fitness Challenge Sept. 26, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. During the challenge, baseballs were used to simulate grenades. Teams were deducted points based on the accuracy of their throws. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Emily Pall, Okinawa Joint Experience Green Team student, reaches for a baseball during the Okinawa Joint Fitness Challenge Sept. 26, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. During the challenge, baseballs were used to simulate grenades. Teams were deducted points based on the accuracy of their throws. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Emily Pall carries Petty Officer 2nd Class Eva Aguilar, both Okinawa Joint Experience Green Team students, during the Okinawa Joint Fitness Challenge Sept. 26, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The OJFC was designed to mimic obstacles and challenges faced in the battlefield such as sprinting, running ammunition cans, transporting wounded personnel to safety and tossing simulated grenades. Each team competed for the best time, however the final challenge brought all four teams together. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)
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U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Emily Pall carries Petty Officer 2nd Class Eva Aguilar, both Okinawa Joint Experience Green Team students, during the Okinawa Joint Fitness Challenge Sept. 26, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The OJFC was designed to mimic obstacles and challenges faced in the battlefield such as sprinting, running ammunition cans, transporting wounded personnel to safety and tossing simulated grenades. Each team competed for the best time, however the final challenge brought all four teams together. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)

U.S. Army Sgt. Zach Grimm, Okinawa Joint Experience Blue Team student, performs push-ups during the Okinawa Joint Fitness Challenge Sept. 26, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The OJFC was designed to mimic obstacles and challenges faced in the battlefield such as sprinting, running ammunition cans, transporting wounded personnel to safety and tossing simulated grenades. Each team competed for the best time, however the final challenge brought all four teams together. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)
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U.S. Army Sgt. Zach Grimm, Okinawa Joint Experience Blue Team student, performs push-ups during the Okinawa Joint Fitness Challenge Sept. 26, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The OJFC was designed to mimic obstacles and challenges faced in the battlefield such as sprinting, running ammunition cans, transporting wounded personnel to safety and tossing simulated grenades. Each team competed for the best time, however the final challenge brought all four teams together. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)

U.S. Army Spc. Tanner Moran, carries U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Colin Casey, both Okinawa Joint Experience Green Team students, during the Okinawa Joint Fitness Challenge Sept. 26, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The OJFC was a portion of the OJE that enabled students to bond while overcoming obstacles and challenges faced in the battlefield. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)
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U.S. Army Spc. Tanner Moran, carries U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Colin Casey, both Okinawa Joint Experience Green Team students, during the Okinawa Joint Fitness Challenge Sept. 26, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The OJFC was a portion of the OJE that enabled students to bond while overcoming obstacles and challenges faced in the battlefield. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)

U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Kyle Deadrick, Okinawa Joint Experience Green Team student, listens during the Okinawa Joint Experience Sept. 27, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. OJE was a three-day course aimed at improving relationships and familiarizing service members, from different branches of service, with each other. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kristan Campbell)
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U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Kyle Deadrick, Okinawa Joint Experience Green Team student, listens during the Okinawa Joint Experience Sept. 27, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. OJE was a three-day course aimed at improving relationships and familiarizing service members, from different branches of service, with each other. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kristan Campbell)

U.S. Chief Master Sgt. Terrance Greene, U.S. Forces Japan command chief, speaks during the Okinawa Joint Experience Sept. 25, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. OJE was a three-day course aimed at improving relationships and familiarizing service members, from different branches of service, with each other. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kristan Campbell)
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U.S. Chief Master Sgt. Terrance Greene, U.S. Forces Japan command chief, speaks during the Okinawa Joint Experience Sept. 25, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. OJE was a three-day course aimed at improving relationships and familiarizing service members, from different branches of service, with each other. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kristan Campbell)

U.S. service members stationed in Okinawa participate in an Okinawa Joint Experience panel Sept. 27, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Key leadership from each branch of service attended the panel and answered questions about the three-day course as part of the OJE. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kristan Campbell)
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U.S. service members stationed in Okinawa participate in an Okinawa Joint Experience panel Sept. 27, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Key leadership from each branch of service attended the panel and answered questions about the three-day course as part of the OJE. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kristan Campbell)

U.S. service members stationed in Okinawa participate in the Okinawa Joint Experience Sept. 25, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. OJE was a three-day course aimed at improving relationships and familiarizing service members, from different branches of service, with each other. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kristan Campbell)
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U.S. service members stationed in Okinawa participate in the Okinawa Joint Experience Sept. 25, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. OJE was a three-day course aimed at improving relationships and familiarizing service members, from different branches of service, with each other. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kristan Campbell)

U.S. service members stationed in Okinawa participate in an Okinawa Joint Experience panel Sept. 27, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Key leadership from each branch of service attended the panel and answered questions about the three-day course as part of the OJE. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kristan Campbell)
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U.S. service members stationed in Okinawa participate in an Okinawa Joint Experience panel Sept. 27, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Key leadership from each branch of service attended the panel and answered questions about the three-day course as part of the OJE. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kristan Campbell)

U.S. service members stationed in Okinawa participate in the Okinawa Joint Experience Sept. 25, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. OJE was a three-day course aimed at improving relationships and familiarizing service members, from different branches of service, with each other. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kristan Campbell)
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U.S. service members stationed in Okinawa participate in the Okinawa Joint Experience Sept. 25, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. OJE was a three-day course aimed at improving relationships and familiarizing service members, from different branches of service, with each other. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kristan Campbell)

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Heriberto Diaz Jr., Erwin Professional Military Education Center commandant, gives U.S. Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen a motivational speech after the Okinawa Joint Fitness Challenge Sept. 26, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The OJFC was a portion of the OJE that enabled students to bond while overcoming obstacles and challenges faced in the battlefield. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)
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U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Heriberto Diaz Jr., Erwin Professional Military Education Center commandant, gives U.S. Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen a motivational speech after the Okinawa Joint Fitness Challenge Sept. 26, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The OJFC was a portion of the OJE that enabled students to bond while overcoming obstacles and challenges faced in the battlefield. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Amann Davis, Okinawa Joint Experience Red Team student, smiles after completing the Okinawa Joint Fitness Challenge Sept. 26, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The OJFC was a portion of the OJE that enabled students to bond while overcoming obstacles and challenges faced in the battlefield. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)
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U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Amann Davis, Okinawa Joint Experience Red Team student, smiles after completing the Okinawa Joint Fitness Challenge Sept. 26, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The OJFC was a portion of the OJE that enabled students to bond while overcoming obstacles and challenges faced in the battlefield. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Roey-Rose Panganiban, Okinawa Joint Experience Gold Team student, motivates fellow service members as they take turns jumping over a rope during the Okinawa Joint Fitness Challenge Sept. 26, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The jump rope challenge required all 48 students to jump over the rope while it was in motion. If the rope touched a student while they were jumping over, or if the rope stopped, the students would have to start over again. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)
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U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Roey-Rose Panganiban, Okinawa Joint Experience Gold Team student, motivates fellow service members as they take turns jumping over a rope during the Okinawa Joint Fitness Challenge Sept. 26, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The jump rope challenge required all 48 students to jump over the rope while it was in motion. If the rope touched a student while they were jumping over, or if the rope stopped, the students would have to start over again. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)

U.S. Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen take turns jumping over a rope during the Okinawa Joint Fitness Challenge Sept. 26, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The jump rope challenge required all 48 students to jump over the rope while it was in motion. If the rope touched a student while they were jumping over, or if the rope stopped, the students would have to start over again. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)
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U.S. Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen take turns jumping over a rope during the Okinawa Joint Fitness Challenge Sept. 26, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The jump rope challenge required all 48 students to jump over the rope while it was in motion. If the rope touched a student while they were jumping over, or if the rope stopped, the students would have to start over again. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)

U.S. Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen take turns jumping over a rope during the Okinawa Joint Fitness Challenge Sept. 26, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The jump rope challenge required all 48 students to jump over the rope while it was in motion. If the rope touched a student while they were jumping over, or if the rope stopped, the students would have to start over again. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)
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U.S. Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen take turns jumping over a rope during the Okinawa Joint Fitness Challenge Sept. 26, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The jump rope challenge required all 48 students to jump over the rope while it was in motion. If the rope touched a student while they were jumping over, or if the rope stopped, the students would have to start over again. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Thomas Nollie carries U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Jesse Pedrero, both Okinawa Joint Experience Green Team students, during the Okinawa Joint Fitness Challenge Sept. 26, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The OJFC was designed to mimic obstacles and challenges faced in the battlefield such as sprinting, running ammunition cans, transporting wounded personnel to safety and tossing simulated grenades. Each team competed for the best time, however the final challenge brought all four teams together. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)
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U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Thomas Nollie carries U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Jesse Pedrero, both Okinawa Joint Experience Green Team students, during the Okinawa Joint Fitness Challenge Sept. 26, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The OJFC was designed to mimic obstacles and challenges faced in the battlefield such as sprinting, running ammunition cans, transporting wounded personnel to safety and tossing simulated grenades. Each team competed for the best time, however the final challenge brought all four teams together. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan --

Select U.S. Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen stationed across Okinawa attended classes at the Erwin Professional Military Education Center on Kadena Air Base, Japan, for the Okinawa Joint Experience from Sept. 25 to Sept. 27.

The OJE was designed to give service members an opportunity to come together and learn in a joint environment. Students were split into four classes, each with a mix of 12 service members from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force.

“The course is for junior non-commissioned officers and petty officers to foster dynamic leadership and collaborate in a joint environment,” said Sgt. 1st Class Wesley Bates, OJE Green Team instructor. “During the OJE, some of the focus areas we taught were profession of arms; service cultures, customs and courtesies, building partnerships, ethical dilemmas, social media, and standards and discipline.”

To start the course off, Chief Master Sgt. Terrence Green, U.S. Forces Japan command chief, spoke to the class about the importance of joint warfare and understanding service cultures.  

“This class was an introductory level for them to get some joint experience,” Green said. “I love that Okinawa-based forces get to share their knowledge with each other and learn more about service cultures, morale, and dealing with discipline on the battlefield.”

During the OJE, teams were pitted against each other for the Joint Force Fitness Challenge which comprised of a push-ups challenge, combat fitness challenge, tug-of-war and a jump rope challenge designed to test the entire class on teamwork.  

“The combat fitness challenge was a test of every aspect, physical, mental and emotional,” said Staff Sgt. Monty Baze, OJE Green Team student.

The fitness challenge was set to mimic obstacles faced in the battlefield such as, sprinting, running ammunition cans, transporting wounded personnel to safety and tossing simulated grenades. Each team competed for the best time, however the final challenge brought all four teams together.

“The challenge was the breaking point where we put our pride and our egos about our services aside and we really started working together,” Baze added. “Everyone came out and gave 100% if not more.”

With lasting bonds forged on the field, students returned to the classroom for a few more lessons, a joint service panel featuring leadership from multiple branches and closing remarks from the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command senior enlisted leader.

“In the USINDOPACOM we talk about partnerships with a purpose and enduring friendships that matter. Friends get stuff done and that’s how we are going to fight,” said Sgt. Maj. Anthony Spadaro, USINDOPACOM senior enlisted advisor. “The best part about a friend is that they’re going to tell you when you screwed up, what you need to improve and how to do it better. We are war fighters and not one service is going into a fight alone.”

After graduating the course, service members returned to their units ready to share their new found knowledge.

“My experience in the OJE is unparalleled to anything else I've encountered,” Baze exclaimed. “One of the biggest things that stood out for me was being submerged in the other services’ culture. I definitely learned a lot, I highly recommend this course to all tiers in the military.”