JASDF officers learn Air Force-style logistics

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Ten company grade officers from the Japan Air Self Defense Force received tours, briefings and hands-on training covering U.S. Air Force logistics as part of a one-week
Logistics Familiarization Course here this week.

The students learned about Air Expeditionary Force experiences, providing host-nation support, similarities and differences between the U.S. Air Force and JASDF logistics
programs, joint exercises with U.S. Forces-Japan/5th Air Force and family support structures available to Airmen and their families.

"This course is not only to teach JASDF officers the U.S. Air Force-style of logistics, we are also getting valuable feedback from the students," said Maj. Robert Davis,
5th Air Force logistics. "We receive feedback as action items that can bring real and measurable benefits, like learning if we are duplicating our efforts or discovering better ways to do business. This can bring savings in money and efficiency."

If the course is received favorably, it could also be instituted at Kadena and Misawa Air Bases.

"If the reviews are favorable, and teaching at Misawa and Kadena courses go well, there is a possibility that JASDF bases will host courses for U.S. Air Force Airmen, creating a mutual exchange program," said Major Davis. "Our plan is to offer the course one to three times a year with no more than 10 students in a class - if it's
picked up permanently."

The JASDF students for the pilot course included nine captains and one first lieutenant from the aircraft maintenance, supply and transportation career fields. They traveled to Yokota Air Base from Fuchu, Iruma, Jujo and Hyakuri Air Bases.

"We are training company grade officers because they are the ones who run the day-to-day operations as flight commanders," said Capt. Robert Crable, 5th Air Force.

As part of the training, students learned about the family support structures the U.S. Air Force provides its Airmen and their families.

"The JASDF does not have family support structures such as an Airman and Family Readiness Center or Child Development Centers like we do," said Captain Crable. "We are taking time this week to have a discussion about this because of how important these structures are to families whether servicemembers are deployed or at home station."

Information about AEF deployments was also discussed in order to share experiences.

"I am briefing the students about my experience in AEF deployments," said Capt. John Saunders, 5th Air Force logistics. "With more and more JASDF troops deploying in support of operations in Iraq, this is important information that can help them when they deploy."

The course offered students the opportunity to tour the 374th Maintenance Squadron, 730th Air Mobility Squadron and 374th Logistics Readiness Squadron facilities, to include the Engine Regional Repair Center. Rounding out the program, JASDF
JASDF officers learn Air Force-style logistics students also had hands-on training with aerial port equipment and aircraft loading.

We want to make sure the students get every opportunity to interact with their counterparts so we arranged lunches with the Yokota Company Grade Officers' Council and Logistics Officers Association, said Captain Crable.

JASDF students also received an opportunity to talk directly with Gen. Bruce Wright, 5th AF commander, during the pilot program. "General Wright taking time out of his busy schedule to meet with the students demonstrates just how important this program is to the command," said Major Davis.