KYOGAMISAKI, Japan – Col. Matthew W. Dalton, 38th Air Defense Artillery Brigade commander, met with Kyoto Prefecture area community leaders to discuss the current health protection measures during his first visit to Kyogamisaki Communications Site Aug. 26.
With the onset of two positive COVID-19 cases associated with KCS in late July, military medical personnel were dispatched from Camp Zama to conduct medical screening and contact tracing of KCS personnel, yielding an additional nine related positive COVID-19 tests within the subsequent two weeks.
The remote location of KCS presented challenges to 38th ADA Brigade health care processes during the initial stage of the COVID-19 pandemic. While service members were treated by military health care professionals dispatched from Camp Zama, Kyoto Prefecture’s Tango Public Health Department assisted with the testing of personnel as well.
“U.S. contractors receive local health care and we truly appreciate the support from the Kyoto Prefecture Health Center over the last few weeks,” said Dalton. In addition to U.S. Army Japan’s health prevention measures, KCS employees are currently in a shelter-in-place status, conducting only minimal life support activities to limit the exposure to the local population until COVID-19 is contained on site.”
The 14th Missile Defense Battery, operational since October 2014, provides the first line of defense against ballistic missile threats in the Indo-Pacific region by monitoring air space with an Army Navy/Transportable Radar Surveillance System (AN/TPY-2 ) on mainland Japan. Under the guidance of Maj. Blake Benedict, 14th MDB commander, KCS fostered the U.S.-Japan alliance through community outreach programs such as beach clean-ups, English-language proficiency classes, sports events, and cultural exchanges, which all took a pause during the current health emergency.
“Maj. Benedict, and his team at KCS look forward to resuming community outreach programs as soon as we can do so safely,” said Dalton.
With only one more person to be medically cleared from isolation, both the U.S. and Japan look forward to the containment of COVID-19 at KCS.
“A sincere thank you for this conference between Japan and the United States of America with the shared interest and cooperation to keep Japan a safe and peaceful country,” said Kyotango City Mayor Yasushi Nakayama. “Information sharing and open communication should be maintained to further enhance the trust-worthy relationship [between the U.S. and Japan].”
The conference concluded on an optimistic note with leaders maintaining a mutual understanding and emphasis on their priority – the people.
“The health and safety of the community is the number one priority,” said Dalton.