The purpose of the exercise was to provide the necessary training to participants, evaluate the air station’s current spill capability, familiarize personnel with equipment and create a plan of action for any unforeseen spills.
The air station conducts the spill training annually to accommodate any obstacles that may stand with the constant construction and changing landscape.
“Most of the construction that happens on base isn’t really an issue,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Jashua Pacheco with harbor operations. “We train annually and adjust to all these changes so they don’t become a problem in the uprising of a real event.”
While the air station personnel were handling the spill, the MDPC team members were doing their part.
“Throughout this training, we made plans and procedures for different things,” said Hideomi Kakimoto, chief of operations division with the MDPC. “We made sure we knew how to get on base, how to transport equipment and what information to gather in the case of larger spills.”
Kakimoto said some of the machines used during the training were very rare to him and he enjoyed learning more details about the equipment.
Together, the air station personnel and MDPC were able to establish and reinforce plans for any future spills.
Pacheco said in conjunction with the other participating units, he believes the operation went very well.
“With us being prepared and fully trained for any unforeseen occurrences involving spills, we will be able to react quickly, contain the spill and prevent oil and fuels from escaping this air station,” said Pacheco. “We want to maintain good relationships with our Japanese allies and prevent any possible issues with oil and fuel in international waters.”
Including the MDPC into training exercises now can make for more cohesive execution if a real spill ever happens. “Working with the MDPC was a great opportunity,” said Pacheco. “It was good to build rapport with them and know we can count on them if they are needed. They are very knowledgeable, and I believe we can learn a lot from each other.”