374th CES: Enhancing Interoperability

374th CES: Enhancing Interoperability

by Airman 1st Class Juan Torres
Yokota Air Base

Yokota Air Base, Japan -- U.S. Air Force Airmen with the 374th Civil Engineering Squadron and 20 Koku-Jieitai (Japan Air Self-Defense Force) Airmen spent a day sharing practices to strengthen interoperability and bilateral relations between the two forces.

During their exchange, the 20 Koku-Jieitai Airmen trained on Rapid Airfield Damage Repair techniques alongside their U.S. counterparts

The RADR demonstration was to show the Koku-Jieitai how the 374 CES quickly repairs major airfield damage by actually repairing a simulated flightline damage. The 374 CES took the Koku-Jieitai engineers through a step by step process as they accessed damage, cut and removed the damaged section and replaced the area with new concrete.

“Rapid Airfield Damage Repair It is utilized to expediently repair the runway if there was a contingency, considering any accident could happen,” said Master Sgt. Thomas Vernon, 374th Civil Engineering Squadron vertical repair shop section chief. “This is what we’d use to get the airfield operational again. Using this method we could have their repair a crater on the airfield of this size in less than three hours.”

This semi-permanent concrete repair can support any aircraft landings after a two hour cure time, and with a strength greater than the existing runway, the concrete can handle 3,000 landings before an inspection of its integrity is needed.

The intention of the demonstrations is more than to showcase Yokota’s capabilities but to promote interoperability between the Koku Jieitai and U.S. Air Force engineers and operators.

“By having a joint relationship with the Koku-Jieitai, training with lets us understand their processes and utilize their skills in any emergency operation,” added Vernon.

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