YOKOTA AIR BASE, JAPAN – Japan Engineer District kicked off the 2nd annual Bilateral Senior Engineer Conference, June 2, with the theme, “Implementing the Alliance Approach to Engineering and Facilities Construction in Japan.”
This BSEC marks the first time that U.S. / Japan Alliance members could meet face-to-face since 2019, just before the Coronavirus pandemic impacted the globe.
“A year ago this gathering would not have been imaginable. Even six months ago it would not have been possible - and yet here we are,” remarked Dr. Christine Altendorf, Director of Military Programs, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, keynote speaker for the event. “We are only able to be side-by-side as we are today because of great science and engineering. Think of that… engineering not only enhances the world, but is actively involved in saving it.”
Though the three-day event will focus on engineer planning, future operational planning, and construction standards, representatives from Japan’s Ministry of Defense, the U.S. Embassy, U.S. Forces Japan, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will also benefit from the collaboration in other ways.
“I believe this conference is of vital importance in contributing to the strengthening of the [U.S. / Japan] alliance,” proclaimed Sugiyama Masato, director general for Facilities and Installations, Minister’s Secretariat, Japan Ministry of Defense. “As well as [being] highly significant in cultivating relationships among senior engineers of the U.S. and Japan, bringing them together so that they can… exchange views on facility construction-related technical challenges both countries face.”
Some of the issues breakout groups will mull over are effective strategies to reduce the impact of operations of U.S. Forces in Japan, locally sustainable construction methods, and the alliance view to alternative procurement methods designed to save taxpayers and stakeholders money.
Since 1999, the event—then called the Senior Engineer Conference—has traditionally occurred between January and March and presents an unique opportunity to learn, discuss, and collaborate increasing engineer interoperability and integration, improving the delivery of facilities and infrastructure strengthening the U.S. / Japan alliance for decades to come.
Japan Engineer District is headquartered at Camp Zama and operates field offices throughout Japan. The District executes the Japan Host Nation Funded Construction and U.S. MILCON programs as the Department of Defense design and construction agent. The District supports U.S. Forces and other agencies with quality, professional and comprehensive planning, engineering, construction, environmental and other value-added services.