BILATERAL COOPERATIVE WORK GROUP CLASS 71 GRADUATES
March 9, 2014
CAMP ZAMA, Japan -- Twelve Japan Ground Self-Defense Force members from units from the five major JGSDF armies and Central Readiness Force were presented certificates here March 5 as Class 71 graduates of the Cooperative Work Program.
The 12 received graduation certificates as they near completion of the latest U.S. Army Japan and Ground Staff Office Cooperative Work Program. The intense bilateral training of the Co-Op program is 10 weeks of immersion for JGSDF members working side-by-side with U.S. Army and Air Force military members in the Camp Zama area. The training, which began Jan. 9, not only provides background on how their skills meld into those of their counterparts' units, but also the bilateral Japan-U.S. alliance. They also learned about interoperability between the two countries and how U.S. military service members do their jobs. This program also afforded each member a daily chance to speak and listen in English while improving their English skills.
The JGSDF members of Co-Op Class 71 were:
Capt. Takaaki Watanabe from Central Readiness Force's Camp Asaka
1st Lt. Keisuke Hashimoto from Middle Army's Camp Toyokawa
1st Lt. Hiroyuki Kitagawa from Northern Army's Camp Asahikawa
1st Lt. Makoto Nakamura from Northeastern Army's Camp Kasuminome
2nd Lt. Kuniaki Mizuno from Western Army's Camp Metabaru
Master Sgt. Ryuichi Ueda from Central Readiness Force's Camp Utsunomiya
Sgt. Yuri Yoshimura from Northern Army's Camp Minamieniwa
Sgt. Hideyuki Kobayashi from Central Readiness Force's Camp Utsunomiya
Sgt. Hirohiko Seto from Eastern Army's Camp Matsumoto
Sgt. Yuki Maekawa from Middle Army's Camp Itami
Sgt. Takahiro Nakagami from Western Army's Camp Kengun
Sgt. Masaho Minoda from Northern Army's Camp Asahikawa
On March 5, the 12 were honored at a farewell luncheon hosted by Maj. Gen. James C. Boozer Sr., commanding general of U.S. Army Japan and I Corps (Forward) where they were presented a certificate of course completion and the general's coin by the general and Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen Payton, USARJ and I Corps (Forward).
Senior JGSDF officials also attending to honor the graduates were Lt. Gen. Taizo Horii, vice commanding general (domestic) of Central Readiness Force; Maj. Kazuki Kawada, Ground Staff Office; Warrant Officer Yoshiaki Suzuki, JGSDF sergeant major; and Warrant Officer Yoshihiro Isono, Central Readiness Force.
This bilateral program started in 1995 with four 10-week classes held annually.