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Bilateral training strengthens U.S., Japanese alliance

by Senior Airman Sasha A. Navarro-Schmidt
Det. 12, Air Force News Agency

4/2/2007 - MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan (AFNEWS) -- Japan Air Self-Defense Force members frequently deploy to U.S. Air Force bases, and when they do, they need to know how to properly maintain equipment, even if it's not something they typically work on.

That is why aerospace and ground equipment shop members recently took the time to get their Japanese equivalents up-to-speed on Air Force equipment, like a self-generating nitrogen cart, and a Dash-60 turbine gas generator.

This process is integral for maintaining a smooth flow of operations in case JASDF members find themselves working with equipment in which they're not familiar, said Master Sgt. Robert Turnbow, the AGE flight production superintendent,

"They use different types of equipment than we do, and they know how to use four of the six pieces that we're using today. They asked us to help them out with training," Sergeant Turnbow said.

Tech. Sgt. Michael Wachob, NCO in charge of the AGE inspection and repair section, has lived and worked in Japan for many years, and uses his knowledge of the Japanese language to help with training.

"With a bilateral assignment like this, the Air Force benefits because we're going to need to be able to work together, maintainers and all," he said. 

"The Japanese benefit because they get to see some of our systems and the way we do business, and I think it helps both ends," Sergeant Wachob said. 

The familiarization training provided by the AGE shop will help serve the JASDF members as they deploy for bilateral exercises throughout the Pacific theater.

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