Friday, November 15, 2013

Japanese Soldiers Train with U.S. Navy Seabees

Japanese Soldiers Train with U.S. Navy Seabees

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Erin Devenberg, Naval Air Facility Misawa Public Affairs
MISAWA, Japan (NNS) -- Naval Air Facility Misawa Seabees conducted bilateral training with soldiers from the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force's 2nd Sergeant Unit from Camp Sendai, Nov 14, 2013.

During the training, Misawa Seabees explained and demonstrated the operational tactics they utilize in the field for their Japanese counterparts. The training also provided the Japanese soldiers an opportunity to interact with U.S. Sailors, while practicing their English-language skills.

"One of the things they will learn today is the basics of operating a High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV)," said Construction Mechanic 2nd Class Nathan Breen, a Los Angeles native. "It's one of the most commonly used vehicles in our operational locations, so it's important for them to understand how to use one in the event that they are deployed with us."

Besides tactics, the students were shown the different uniforms, medals and regalia worn by Navy Sailors.

"They are still studying English, but are receptive to learning more about the way the U.S. Navy works," said their instructor, Sergeant First Class Tetsuya Yoshida, from Sendai, Japan. "We have several combined exercises with U.S. military branches, so being able to communicate with them is very important to complete the mission."

These continued exercises are aimed at strengthening mission readiness between the two allied nations.

"The Army 2nd Sergeant Training Unit reached out to the Seabees," said Chief Builder Billy Harger, originally from Pearl City, Hawaii. "They asked for our assistance with training their personnel in familiarizing their troops with the terminology we use in the Seabee world. We now meet periodically and discuss a range of topics that are pertinent to both our services."

And so far, Harger is impressed with the initiative and enthusiasm he's seen from both his Seabees, as well as the JGSDF.

"They are so motivated to just listen, observe, and ask questions," he said. "They are always eager and attentive during our training sessions, which motivates us to continue this in the future, or even travel to Sendai so my Seabees can get a few training events on the Japanese Army side."

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