374th Security Forces Squadron conducts heavy weapons training at Camp Fuji

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jacob Wood
  • 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Members assigned to the 374th Security Forces Squadron completed heavy weapons training at the Combined Arms Training Center, Camp Fuji, Japan, April 24. 

The heavy weapons training, or Fuji Firing, is a semi-annual event where defenders travel to the U.S. Marine Corps CATC to complete mandatory qualification training on various weapon systems. 

"We're qualifying some of our defenders on the M240B machine gun and M249 light machine gun” said Tech. Sgt. Nathaniel Green, 374th SFS combat arms NCO in charge. “Most of the defenders here are new and haven't touched a machine gun yet. Leading up to this, we established a foundation so they'd be ready when they came out here."

The CATC presents a cost-effective location for defenders to meet training requirements. Additionally, it provides an opportunity for both the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marine Corps branches to cooperate with one another. 

“We have to work well with them in order to use their facilities and training time,” said Senior Master Sgt. Daniel Raschke, 374th SFS logistics and readiness superintendent. “That allows us to not only build partnerships in the joint environment, but there are also opportunities out there to interact with our Japanese partners.” 

Col. Andrew Roddan, 374th Airlift Wing commander and Col. Hiroyuki Ishii, Operations Support Wing commander, attended alongside 374th SFS personnel to gain direct experience with the heavy weapons systems.

“Leadership’s involvement this year allowed them to see our capabilities and training firsthand,” said Raschke. “This only serves to build upon our existing partnerships.” 

Fuji Firing promotes inter-service and inter-alliance cooperation and by participating, the 374th Airlift Wing continues to maintain its close ties and mission readiness. 

"Our instructors have been grinding day in and day out for the last six months to make this happen,” said Green. “Even today, out in the cold rain, they're still putting in work with no complaints."