CAMP KAMIFURANO, Japan — Staff Sgt. Anthony Carter, an ammunition specialist with the 10th Support Group is no stranger to planning for and solving problems in austere environments when it comes to providing ammunition to the troops.
All of Carter’s pre-planning and previous experiences served him well once he arrived at the remote Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force’s Camp Kamifurano in Northern Japan in support of the 1-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment’s bilateral live fire exercise during Orient Shield. Orient Shield is the largest annual bilateral training exercise conducted in Japan between the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Forces and the U.S. Army.
When Carter arrived, the land designated for the exercise ammunition holding area wasn’t appropriate for the type of ammunition needed. He quickly jumped into action mode working to solve the problem.
“There was a slight misunderstanding and the site chosen for our [ammunition holding area] didn’t fall within our safety guidelines. It gave us a chance to coordinate with our host country partners to quickly secure a new appropriate site,” said Carter, a Fort Walton Beach native.
Carter’s main mission during the exercise is to operate as the lead ammunition specialist for his site and is the point of contact for the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment. Much of his job is part problem solver and part customer service. His daily duties are ammunition issue and turn-in and provide as a subject matter expert for ammunition knowledge.
“I am simply here to make sure the 5-20th has the ammo needed to do the job. The most challenging part of the job is logistics and scheduling. Things go according to an aggressive, but tentative timeline. I have to be flexible with sudden changes to meet the unit’s needs,” said Carter.
Carter also has support from Ron Stuits, a civilian quality assurance specialist ammunition specialist with the 10th Support Group. The two work in tandem to ensure safety standards are upheld.
With Camp Kamifurano being remote and somewhat isolated, Carter relies on previous experience from two previous deployments in Iraq in 2005 and 2007, as well as being an ammunition specialist at the remote National Training Center in Southeast California.
“Prior, planning and preparation helps helps with mission execution and well as redeployments. When you plan well, things tend to go well,” said Carter.
According to Carter, he is enjoying Orient Shield, which gives him a chance to flex his occupational skills. “I Just like being in Japan. Being in this environment gives me the opportunity to do my job. I get to be hands-on. Working hand-in-hand with the Japanese is different, but fun and interesting,” he explained. “Abiding to Japanese rules helps me develop different thinking as to how you have to approach things and work with them to do the mission. I am gaining and learning a few more things. I am getting great experience on the administrative side with paperwork and working with the host nation."