U.S., Japan integrate to perfect safety, security response capabilities

Bilateral emergency exercise

U.S. Air Force and Japan Air Self-Defense Force first responders tend to simulated injured personnel after a mock aircraft crash at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Aug. 30, 2017. The exercise channeled bilateral emergency response procedures among the USAF and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force to perfect safety and security measures for the air show on Sept. 10. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Deana Heitzman)

Tending to the injured

U.S. Air Force Airman Androwa Mikhail, left, and Senior Airman Ian Cyr, right, both 35th Medical Operations Squadron emergency medical technicians, tend to a simulated injured personnel after a mock aircraft crash at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Aug. 30, 2017. The exercise channeled bilateral emergency response procedures among the USAF and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force to perfect safety and security measures for the air show on Sept. 10. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Deana Heitzman)

JASDF military working dog

A Japan Air Self-Defense Force 3rd Air Wing security member and military working dog await orders during a security procedure exercise at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Aug. 30, 2017. In addition to the mock crash, JASDF members conducted a mock improvised explosive device exercise, perfecting entry-to-base procedures prior to the upcoming air show on Sept. 10. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Deana Heitzman)

Responding to the media

U.S. Air Force Col. Paul Kirmis, the 35th Fighter Wing vice commander, conducts a mock press conference after a simulated aircraft crash at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Aug. 30, 2017. Press conferences allow installation commanders or other representatives to relay information to journalists, giving them the current facts on emergency situations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Deana Heitzman)

Real-world interview

U.S. Air Force Maj. Tyson Daw, left, the air show project officer, and Japan Air Self-Defense Force Lt. Col. Yusuke Shibata, right, the 3rd Air Wing Defense Section chief of defense operations division, participate in an interview with local Japanese media at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Aug. 30, 2017. This interview stressed the importance of security procedures to the local Misawa City populous and advised upcoming air show guests to avoid bringing baggage for a smoother entry. The interview broadcasted on local television. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Deana Heitzman)

Preparing protective gear

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Shaquille Montague, a 35th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighter, dons protective gear during a simulated aircraft crash at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Aug. 30, 2017. Firefighters rushed to the scene after receiving notification and assisted 35th Medical Group personnel with simulated injured personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Deana Heitzman)

Concentration during exercise

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Journey Adams, a 35th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighter, observes the mock aircraft crash scene at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Aug. 30, 2017. The exercise channeled bilateral emergency response procedures among the USAF and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, to perfect security measures for the upcoming air show on Sept. 10. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Deana Heitzman)

Standing their ground

A Japan Air Self-Defense Force 3rd Air Wing security member reinforces a cordon during a simulated security threat at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Aug. 30, 2017. In addition to the mock crash, JASDF members conducted a mock improvised explosive device exercise, perfecting entry-to-base procedures prior to the upcoming air show on Sept. 10. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Deana Heitzman)

Apprehending a suspect

Japan Air Self-Defense Force 3rd Air Wing security members apprehend a simulated security threat at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Aug. 30, 2017. In addition to the mock crash, Japan Air Self-Defense Force members conducted a mock improvised explosive device exercise, ensuring entry-to-base procedures were perfected prior to the upcoming air show. After discovering the simulated IED, U.S. Air Force explosive ordnance disposal members rushed to the scene. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Deana Heitzman)

Simulated aircraft crash
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U.S. Air Force Airmen with the 35th Medical Group tend to simulated injured personnel during the annual bilateral air fest emergency management exercise at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Aug. 30, 2017. The exercise channeled bilateral emergency procedures among the USAF and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force to perfect security measures for the air show on Sept. 10. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Deana Heitzman)

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- Sirens screamed from the voices of fire trucks, ambulances and police vehicles while U.S. and Japan first responders raced across Misawa Air Base during a bilateral emergency management exercise, Aug. 30.

U.S. Air Force and Japan Air Self-Defense Force members quickly reacted to a mock improvised explosive device and a simulated aircraft crash, demonstrating the allied forces' dedication to safety and security for their upcoming air show, occurring Sept. 10.

“The objectives from exercising with JASDF for this EME were to evaluate our communication, hone current bilateral operations and also identify capabilities we could potentially establish joint agreements on,” said Master Sgt. Reinhard Albuera, the EME lead inspector. “It's vital to exercise incidents like this because if a real-world emergency were to happen, both USAF and JASDF will be prepared to respond in unison.”

This annual bilateral exercise enhances base-wide contingency plans and strengthens the 35th Fighter Wing’s partnership with JASDF, or Koku-Jieitai. Once the exercise initiated, both countries’ first responders tended to simulated personnel injuries and an aircraft shell engulfed in flames while expediting response time and recall procedures together, which was a first.

“Even though the JASDF medical team has participated in previous EMEs, they practiced their medical response separately from us,” added Albuera. “This year, our plan forced both countries to work together. Our initial assessment of the combined medical response has shown success--it's definitely a big step in the right direction when it comes to our bilateral efforts.”

Additionally, this exercise provided a platform to inform guests about security procedures expected upon entering Misawa AB during the festival. Local media outlets featured the IED portion of the exercise, capturing the U.S. and Koku-Jieitai’s safety and security procedures.

“The safety of our guests is the highest priority for both USAF and JASDF commanders at Misawa,” said Koku-Jieitai Lt. Col. Yusuke Shibata, the 3rd Air Wing Defense Section chief of defense operations division, during an interview with local Japanese reporters. “In today’s world, possible threats have been executed during events that attract a lot of guests, like the air show.”

This year’s festival forecasts a crowd of nearly 100,000 guests, which means heightened security measures.

“Because of the hard work, passion and attention to detail our first responders exemplify, they can protect us against possible threats,” said Maj. Tyson Daw, the air show project officer, who also interviewed with local Japanese media. “We ask that if you are attending the show, please be patient when entering our gates and if long wait times occur--this is only for the complete safety of our wonderful guests attending this event.”

As sirens faded into the distance and the exercise concluded, Team Misawa members reflected on their actions showcased during the EME and channeled their thoughts to the upcoming air show. The festival will showcase more than 15 different airframes from various U.S. military services, JASDF and the civilian sector.