Teamwork helps USAG Japan upgrade military police vehicles

By Sean Kimmons, U.S. Army Garrison Japan Public AffairsFebruary 19, 2024

Hiroyuki Takahashi, an electronic mechanic with Logistics Readiness Center-Honshu, smooths over a decal on a new military police vehicle at Sagami General Depot, Japan, Feb. 7, 2024. U.S. Army Garrison Japan worked with partners to receive 12 patrol vehicles following a lengthy procurement process.
1 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Hiroyuki Takahashi, an electronic mechanic with Logistics Readiness Center-Honshu, smooths over a decal on a new military police vehicle at Sagami General Depot, Japan, Feb. 7, 2024. U.S. Army Garrison Japan worked with partners to receive 12 patrol vehicles following a lengthy procurement process. (Photo Credit: Sean Kimmons) VIEW ORIGINAL
Takashi Yamamoto, an electronic mechanic with Logistics Readiness Center-Honshu, designs a decal for a new military police vehicle at Sagami General Depot, Japan, Feb. 7, 2024. U.S. Army Garrison Japan worked with partners to receive 12 patrol vehicles following a lengthy procurement process.
2 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Takashi Yamamoto, an electronic mechanic with Logistics Readiness Center-Honshu, designs a decal for a new military police vehicle at Sagami General Depot, Japan, Feb. 7, 2024. U.S. Army Garrison Japan worked with partners to receive 12 patrol vehicles following a lengthy procurement process. (Photo Credit: Sean Kimmons) VIEW ORIGINAL
Takashi Yamamoto, an electronic mechanic with Logistics Readiness Center-Honshu, smooths over a decal for a new military police vehicle at Sagami General Depot, Japan, Feb. 7, 2024. U.S. Army Garrison Japan worked with partners to receive 12 patrol vehicles following a lengthy procurement process.
3 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Takashi Yamamoto, an electronic mechanic with Logistics Readiness Center-Honshu, smooths over a decal for a new military police vehicle at Sagami General Depot, Japan, Feb. 7, 2024. U.S. Army Garrison Japan worked with partners to receive 12 patrol vehicles following a lengthy procurement process. (Photo Credit: Sean Kimmons) VIEW ORIGINAL

CAMP ZAMA, Japan – When Capt. Sarah Baermann became the police chief here in June 2022, she was told her top priority would be to replace an aging fleet of military police vehicles to ensure the safety of the community.

With the help of others at the U.S. Army Garrison Japan’s Directorate of Emergency Services, Logistics Readiness Center-Honshu, and Installation Management Command-Pacific, a batch of new vehicles will soon hit the streets following a lengthy procurement process.

“It’s important for the life, health and safety of our community,” she said of the vehicles. “If my team is walking to a call, they’re not getting to your house very fast.”

Baermann, who is now the commander of the 88th and 901st Military Police Detachments, said her units will receive 12 patrol cars, four of which were purchased and the rest of them leased.

“Camp Zama is a very safe community … but things happen, and you don’t want to get caught by surprise in an emergency situation,” Baermann said. “In emergency services, the name of the game is preparing for what’s possible.”

At Sagami General Depot, LRC-Honshu maintainers have been prepping the new vehicles with decals and police equipment, such as lights, radios and sirens.

“Working for the Department of the Army, we have a job to clean up our areas, improve our foxholes and take care of business,” said Sean Mager, director of LRC-Honshu. “So, it was time to lifecycle these vehicles out.”

Four of the new vehicles were purchased through the Army’s non-tactical vehicle program, which falls under the Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command.

The NTV program is limited to how many vehicles it can purchase each year for the entire Army. The fact that USAG Japan was able to receive four of them was due to the teamwork behind the scenes, he said.

“It was a big win,” Mager said. “Essentially, we highlighted our needs and had to be vocal about it. By working together, we were able to bring in all the experience, knowledge, and efforts to make it happen as a team.”

William Peppard, deputy director of DES, said units stationed in the United States can normally go through the General Services Administration to request new vehicles. A similar supply system does not exist overseas.

Peppard said the team found a solution by using a variety of processes and procedures, including both purchase and lease options.

Due to many vehicles in the fleet being at least a decade old, along with the lack of replacement parts and costly repairs, Peppard said having new patrol cars will be more cost effective.

But the project is still not finished. The goal, Baermann said, is for the garrison to eventually have the ability to purchase vehicles locally, instead of leasing them. She said IMCOM officials are now looking at new ways to tackle vehicle shortages, including possibly purchasing on the local economy.

Baermann described the ongoing project as a marathon, not a sprint.

For Peppard, who previously served as an MP officer and civilian cop, emergency services personnel deserve reliable transportation so they can continue to keep the community safe.

And, specifically for the MPs, a patrol car can be their second home for up to 12 hours, depending on their shift.

“We owe those guys out there working the frontlines for safety and security the best equipment we can possibly provide,” he said, “so they can get to point A to point B without worrying about any risk.”

Related links:

U.S. Army Garrison Japan news

USAG Japan official website