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Bilateral Logistics, Interoperability Tested in Keen Edge

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070203-02
Release Date: 2/3/2007 8:33:00 PM

By Bill Doughty, U.S. Fleet and Industrial Supply Center Yokosuka Public Affairs

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- Sailors and civilians, both U.S. and Japanese, at U.S. Fleet and Industrial Supply Center (FISC) Yokosuka are playing a key logistics role in support of the Navy’s Keen Edge Exercise, which began Feb. 1.

Keen Edge is an annual bilateral command post exercise aimed to increase readiness and enhance interoperability of U.S. and Japan self defense forces.

“We take this exercise seriously,” said Capt. Andrew Benson, FISC Yokosuka commanding officer. “Exercise Keen Edge is a great opportunity to show what our logistics team is capable of providing as part of our evolving operational responsibilities.”

FISC Yokosuka, with its sites and detachments throughout Japan and the western Pacific, is responsible for regional logistical support including beans, bullets, bandages, black oil and bundles of mail.

Chief Storekeeper Gary Seibel, leading chief petty officer of Yokosuka’s Fleet Operations said, FISC Yokosuka and its cadre of Japanese logisticians, contract specialists and support personnel is poised to provide support in a real-world contingency.

“Of course, we first look to resources in the Navy, Marines, and Air Force, wherever we can find them on island. If we need to find material locally, our MLCs (Master Labor Contract employees) can help us. They are really critical,” said Seibel.

According to Kazuo Sakaba, a general supply specialist at FISC Yokosuka, the exercise is good for everyone involved.

“I think it is a good experience. Our office is a 24-hour operation,” said Sakaba.

During Keen Edge, the supply center is testing its ability to coordinate and communicate with other commands, agencies and partners in the region.

“I think it’s very good for our military personnel to participate in something that is out of our routine," said assistant officer in charge of FISC Detachment Sasebo, Lt. Grace Kim. "It helps us be more prepared for different scenarios, identifies our strengths, and makes us think how we will react. It’s a good learning experience.”

“In addition to the inter-service support, the exercise serves as a reminder to us all that we live in a very dynamic environment here in Japan and on Okinawa, and that we must maintain readiness at all times,” said FISC Detachment Okinawa officer in charge, Lt. Tim Grasmick.

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