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Joint force additional first sergeant training

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Senior enlisted Airmen from the U.S. Air Force and Japan Air Self Defense Force received additional duty first sergeant training last week to learn important skills required to be a first sergeant.

Two instructors travelled from the Air Force First Sergeant Academy at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., to teach the one-week Additional Duty First Sergeant course to 52
students at Yokota Air Base.

“On average we conduct eight regional additional first sergeant seminars around the Air Force each year,” said Senior Master Sgt. Scott Fuller, one of the first sergeant instructors teaching the seminar.

The overall goal of the seminar is to train and prepare senior noncommissioned officers to fulfill key leadership roles as a first sergeant when the need arises.

Training covered many topics useful to someone in a first sergeant role to include the Air Force Fitness Program, family care planning, financial responsibility, referral agencies, preventive discipline, nonjudicial punishment, the article 15 process and working with security forces were just some of the areas covered.

“Some units are not authorized a diamond wearing first sergeant, or units need someone to fill in when the first sergeant deploys or is on leave,” said Sergeant Fuller,
one of only six instructors at the First Sergeant Academy. “We train senior non-commissioned officers to fill those duty requirements and teach them how to provide their Joint force additional first sergeant training leaders with the information they need to make decisions that will impact their enlisted personnel.”

Chief Master Sgt. Catherine Barker, 374th Airlift Wing command chief said, “This is great training for the wing to ensure our acting and additional duty first sergeants are further developed and prepared to support our commanders on issues that affect our people and ultimately mission success.”

“Students were identified as top SNCO’s by their commanders and current first sergeant to attend the seminar,” said Senior Master Sgt. Rick Price, the director of operations for the Air Force First Sergeant Academy and also an instructor for the course.“The First Sergeant Academy started teaching the additional duty first sergeant course in 1996, however this was the first time ever teaching members from the JASDF.”

Ten students in the course included senior enlisted leaders from JASDF and Chief Master Sgt. Ryuichi Kanomat, JASDF command chief. “JASDF recently implemented the command chief master sergeant and first sergeant programs and are mirroring the U.S. Air Force structure,” said Chief Kanomat, who is the JASDF equivalent to the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force.

“As senior enlisted leaders we need to take care of our enlisted members and we can learn from these opportunities while keeping the relationship between the U.S. Air Force and Japanese Air Self Defense Force strong,” said Chief Kanomat.

Chief Barker agreed, “We are extremely fortunate to have senior enlisted JASDF members and their top enlisted, Chief Kanomat, join us for the seminar as we continue
to build on our bilateral relationship with Japan.”

U.S. Air Force senior enlisted members in attendance found the course beneficial as well. Master Sgt. Nicole Jackson took the course because she was recently tasked as
an additional duty first sergeant for 5th Air Force, one the units on base without a first
sergeant slot.

“This training is very valuable,” said Sergeant Jackson. “I have already been an acting
first sergeant a couple of weekends now and this information would have been helpful
to know. I feel better prepared now to handle situations that might arise with the
foundation and tools the course provided.”