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Bilateral exercise prepares U.S., Japan for air show

Misawa Hospital nurse, left, and Japan Air Self Defense Force service member check the vitals of a patient during a bilateral emergency management exercise at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Aug. 31, 2016. The exercise prepared USAF and JASDF members to appropriately respond to an improvised explosive device detonation during an air show. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. April Quintanilla)

A Misawa Hospital nurse, left, and a Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) service member check the vitals of a patient during a bilateral emergency management exercise at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Aug. 31, 2016. The exercise prepared U.S. Air Force and JASDF members to appropriately respond to an improvised explosive device detonation during an air show. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. April Quintanilla)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Elizabeth Ehrnschwender, a wing self-assessment program manager with the 35th Fighter Wing staff agencies inspector general’s inspections office, left, applies moulage to Japan Air Self Defense Force Senior Airman Ken Tanaka prior to the start of a bilateral emergency management exercise at Misawa Air base, Japan, Aug. 31, 2016. Approximately 60 service members participated in the exercise to simulate injuries for medical staff to diagnose and respond to. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sadie Colbert)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Elizabeth Ehrnschwender, a wing self-assessment program manager with the 35th Fighter Wing inspector general’s office, left, applies moulage to Japan Air Self Defense Force Senior Airman Ken Tanaka prior to the start of a bilateral emergency management exercise at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Aug. 31, 2016. Approximately 60 service members participated in the exercise to simulate injuries for medical staff to diagnose and respond to. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sadie Colbert)

Rebecca Goebel, volunteer, participates in a bilateral emergency management exercise as a victim at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Aug. 31, 2016. Role playing victims suffered from a range of injuries such as being hit by metal shrapnel to disembowelment, which medical staff were tasked to respond and treat. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sadie Colbert)

Rebecca Goebel, a volunteer, participates in a bilateral emergency management exercise as a victim at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Aug. 31, 2016. Role playing victims suffered from a range of injuries such as being hit by metal shrapnel to disembowelment, which medical staff were tasked to respond and treat. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sadie Colbert)

Japan Air Self Defense Force personnel prepare litters during a bilateral emergency management exercise at Aug. 31, 2016. USAF and JASDF agencies including security forces squadrons, medical and fire departments responded to approximately 60 USAF and Japanese personnel who simulated various injuries that could occur after an explosion. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sadie Colbert)

Japan Air Self Defense Force personnel prepare litters during a bilateral emergency management exercise at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Aug. 31, 2016. U.S. Air Force and JASDF agencies including security forces, medical and fire responded to approximately 60 U.S. and Japanese personnel who simulated various injuries that could occur after an explosion. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sadie Colbert)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Brandon Cotham, a fireman assigned to the 35th Civil Engineer Squadron, conducts a patient assessment during a bilateral emergency management exercise at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Aug. 31, 2016. Firemen assessed patient damage and escorted them to a safe zone. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. April Quintanilla)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Brandon Cotham, a fireman assigned to the 35th Civil Engineer Squadron, conducts a patient assessment during a bilateral emergency management exercise at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Aug. 31, 2016. Firemen assessed patient damage and escorted them to a safe zone. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. April Quintanilla)

Japan Air Self Defense Force member 1st Lt. Murase Toshia, left, and Kawashima Toshinobu, an assistant fire chief, center, discuss with U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Francis Tagalog, a deputy fire chief and incident commander assigned to 35th Civil Engineer Squadron, the situation and roles of the firemen from both the JASDF and USAF during a bilateral emergency management exercise at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Aug. 31, 2016. During the planning stages both sides established the counterparts, chain of command and how all agencies are going to respond. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sadie Colbert)

Japan Air Self Defense Force member 1st Lt. Murase Toshia, left, and Kawashima Toshinobu, an assistant fire chief, center, discuss with U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Francis Tagalog, a deputy fire chief and incident commander assigned to the 35th Civil Engineer Squadron, the situation and roles of the firemen from both the JASDF and U.S. Air Force during a bilateral emergency management exercise at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Aug. 31, 2016. During the planning stages both sides established the counterparts, chain of command and how all agencies were going to respond. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sadie Colbert)

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan --

Midday, a loud boom echoed across Misawa’s flight line during a bilateral emergency management exercise led by the Japanese Air Self Defense Force, Aug. 31.

The exercise was held to prepare U.S. Air Force and JASDF members for scenarios involving suicide bombers and improvised explosive devices, said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Elizabeth Ehrnschwender, a wing self-assessment program manager with the 35th Fighter Wing inspector general’s office.

USAF and JASDF agencies including security forces, medical and fire responded to approximately 60 American and Japanese personnel who simulated various injuries that could occur after an explosion.

“We’ll have an exceptionally large amount of people on the base [during the air show],” Ehrnschwender said. “The risk associated with this is greater than during our normal day-to-day operations, so it’s important the base [knows] we’re ready to respond to an incident.”

Ehrnschwender explained an EME is required to be conducted prior to any air show, and with both JASDF and USAF members planning the event together, they decided to perform the exercise jointly.

“In the planning stages we established who the counterparts are, who the chain of command is for the incident, where people are going to be staged, and where and how we are going to respond,” Ehrnschwender said. “In a real world incident, the JASDF would respond to the Japanese patients who would be taken to a Japanese hospital and we would take care of our own U.S. patients, so it’s important we work together to establish whose role is whose.”

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Joseph Helguero, a flight sergeant assigned to the 35th Security Forces Squadron, said he is confident in the exercise and how it has prepared them for any explosive scenario.

“Coordinating with the JASDF is something we do often and we do it well,” Helguero said. “I think we would be able to handle a situation like this if it were to ever occur.”

He added that although the exercise went well, there are always things everyone can improve on.

“Participating in exercises like this help us coordinate better,” Helguero said. “It helps us learn how to function as one unit."