Weather flight increases bilateral knowledge
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- A member of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force weather station joined the 374th Operations Support Squadron weather flight during a shadow program at Yokota Air Base, Japan, June 14, 2016.
The program enables members from both services to exchange information to gain knowledge on how their counterparts perform the jobs.
"It's important for both sides to view our counterparts way of completing the mission to potentially bring back new techniques or procedures to help each other improve," said Master Sgt. Nigel Fredericks, 374 OSS weather flight chief.
Yokota's weather personnel took Capt. Naoki Nishino, Japan Air Self-Defense Force weather station forecaster, through the flights day-to-day operations. The day began with formal weather briefing to the 36th Airlift Squadron mission crew. Nishino then sat in on a meteorological conference. He finished the visit with an in-depth familiarization with the flight’s daily assignments at the weather flight operations desk.
"Taking advantage of opportunities like this program is essential for us to help each other gain knowledge of how our counterparts perform their jobs," Nishino said. "I saw how the weather flight operated with their customers and was impressed with how the enlisted personnel performed the daily briefings."
A member of the 374 OSS weather flight will visit a JASDF weather station in the future to continue the shadow exchange program.
"Our JASDF counterparts have more expertise and knowledge about our area of operations since they are locally embedded in the terrain we use to complete our missions," Fredericks said. "We are hoping that when we visit their flight, we will be able to bring back techniques to help us improve our processes."
Both Fredericks and Nishino agreed that the shadow program has helped and will continue to increase both their capabilities.
"I believe that it's important to know and understand each other’s ways of doing things, especially when we work together," Nishino said. "I will bring this great experience back to my office to help us better utilize our processes."