YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- To be prepared for any contingency, Airmen undergo training in expeditionary skills including self-aid buddy care, upgrade training for their primary career field, weapon recertification and chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives defense.
Members of the 374th Civil Engineer Squadron readiness and emergency management flight recently built wooden structures, appropriated empty housing units for shelter-in-place training and provided supplies for asset recovery and post attack reconnaissance.
These combined efforts formed Camp Warlord, located on Yokota’s west side, a program heralded by Lt. Col. David McCleese, 374 CES commander, as a means to ensure that the wing and its tenant units could conduct training on a more regular basis.
“We’ve gotten a lot of great reviews from every person to cross through saying that this hands on training area has been instrumental to getting them excited about this training as opposed to PowerPoint slideshows,” said Staff Sgt. Ryan Stork, 374 CES readiness and emergency management planning NCO in charge. “This is really good training and we’re getting people involved and invested. Just on that alone, I’d say it’s been extremely successful and it’s going to continue.”
Personnel from the 374 CES have taken steps to ensure that Airmen have a place to conduct their training without disrupting base operations and while saving the Air Force money at the same time.
Prior to the launch of Camp Warlord, CBRNE training involved the use of real-world inflatable decontamination tents, worth approximately $70,000 each, every few weeks. These tents were not designed for frequent use and suffered wear and tear making them unfit for real-world contingencies on a quarterly basis.
“Its real world equipment that we were using, so if something happens and we need them across the installation but we destroyed them in training, that’s a problem,” Stork said. “Going to PACAF for $280,000 every year just for training to make sure your base is prepared in a high threat area is bad too, so we’re saving a lot of money with Camp Warlord.”
According to Stork, there are many units within the 374th Mission Support Group who are coordinating the use for the training area, including 374th Security Forces Squadron members and CES fire fighters, for their own scenarios and exercises.
Stork also highlighted Camp Warlord’s status as a wing asset, encouraging unit training managers across base to coordinate with the readiness and emergency management flight to use the facilities.
“If the maintenance group wants to come over here and find a use for it as a training area that’s great,” Stork said. “I think that’s the biggest thing we’re trying to push, we want more people to use it and for everyone to know that this is a wing asset not just CES’ little playground.”