By 1st Lt. Matthew B Brewer, 1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery RegimentOctober 17, 2018
CAMP HANSEN, Japan - Interoperability is at forefront of joint and bilateral partnerships. In an effort to increase contingency readiness; Soldiers, Marines, and Airmen stationed in Okinawa conducted a joint and bilateral Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) combined training exercise on Combat Town, Camp Hansen, Oct. 10-11, 2018.
The two day CBRN training exercise built upon previously joint/bilateral field training exercises designed to increase combat readiness and interoperability of U.S. forces and the Japan Self Defense Forces.
Participants included US units from 1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, 18th Civil Engineer Squadron, and Japan Self Defense Force from the 15th Biological, Chemical Company. The units conducted iterations of reconnaissance, site exploitation, hazard response, and mass casualty scenarios.
Set in a simulated environment, each training iteration was progressive, building upon the actions of the previous rotation.
"Learning to communicate and integrate with our partners on Okinawa is key to ensuring effectiveness and efficiency when we are called upon to perform our mission," said 1st Lt. Matthew Li, the 1-1 ADA CBRN Officer and Shisa Fire organizer.
In addition to training, the units had the opportunity to share different aspects of their branch and service with one another.
"It's great to come out here and train with our Japanese, Air-Force, and Marine counterparts. The energy and excitement they bring to training is really motivational," said Pfc Kyle Power, CBRN specialist for Alpha Battery 1-1 ADA.
As the dust settled on the last day of training, each participant of Shisa Fire walked away with a deepened knowledge of their role in a tactical environment.
"Complacency negates any progress that we've made fostering these relationships. Continuing to conduct these opportunities is paramount to ensuring future success on Okinawa," said Li.
Training exercises like these provide the JSDF and U.S. military opportunities to train together in realistic scenarios, enhancing readiness and interoperability, Li added.