USAG Japan employees recognized for ‘continuous support’ to Japan Ground-Self Defense Force

Five U.S. Army Garrison Japan civilian employees were recognized by the Japan Ground-Self Defense Force for their “continuous cooperation and support to the JGSDF” during a March 30 ceremony on Camp Zama. They received certificates of appreciation from Col. Kazuya Ono, commander of the JGSDF’s 4th Engineer Group and JGSDF Camp Zama, which highlighted their “unwavering support to the JGSDF mission.” (Photo Credit: Noriko Kudo)
Five U.S. Army Garrison Japan civilian employees were recognized by the Japan Ground-Self Defense Force for their “continuous cooperation and support to the JGSDF” during a March 30 ceremony on Camp Zama. They received certificates of appreciation from Col. Kazuya Ono, commander of the JGSDF’s 4th Engineer Group and JGSDF Camp Zama, which highlighted their “unwavering support to the JGSDF mission.” (Photo Credit: Noriko Kudo)

USAG Japan employees recognized for ‘continuous support’ to Japan Ground-Self Defense Force

by Noriko Kudo
U.S. Army

CAMP ZAMA, Japan (Apri1 2, 2021) – Five U.S. Army Garrison Japan civilian employees were recognized by the Japan Ground-Self Defense Force for their “continuous cooperation and support to the JGSDF” during a ceremony here March 30.

Shawn Shaffell and Yoshihiro Isono, assigned to the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security; Daniel Brush and Nobuki Azuma, assigned to the Directorate of Emergency Services; and Toshiyuki Ito, assigned to the Public Affairs Office, received certificates of appreciation from Col. Kazuya Ono, commander of the JGSDF’s 4th Engineer Group and JGSDF Camp Zama, which highlighted their “unwavering support to the JGSDF mission.”

At the presentation, Ono expressed his sincere appreciation to the awardees for their “deep understanding of the JGSDF mission.”

USAG Japan Command Sgt. Maj. Justin Turner said at the ceremony that he was very proud of the employees who were recognized, and agreed with Ono on efforts to enhance the Army and JGSDF’s continued bilateral relationship by training together in events the DES hosts throughout the year.

The DES team has worked with the JGSDF on a number of projects related to emergency services to ensure “both assets are able to effectively secure the installation in the event of an emergency,” Brush said.

Brush recalled that the two organizations’ joint effort in 2020 was especially critical to the safeguarding of the Camp Zama community due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This past year, the DES and JGSDF worked closely together to protect members of the community from the spread of COVID-19 through joint operations,” Brush said.

Maintaining interoperability has been a challenge throughout the past year due to COVID-19 restrictions, but both USAG Japan and the JGSDF need to take advantage of training opportunities as they arise in order to continue to improve those capabilities, Brush said.

Isono works as a liaison who coordinates training facilities, traffic control and force protection support throughout the year between USAG Japan and the JGSDF. Working together with the JGSDF is key to “keeping the Camp Zama community and its installation running safely and smoothly,” Isono said.

“Support from the JGSDF is extremely vital to the Camp Zama community … especially in the case of an emergency or disaster.”

Isono said the recognition he and his fellow employees received was a great reminder to him that reconfirmed how important it is for USAG Japan and the JGSDF to “continuously enhance a committed relationship at all times.”

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