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Kadena maintainers train on Japanese equipment during exercise

by Tech. Sgt. Angelique Perez
18th Wing Public Affairs

10/7/2009 - IBERAKI PREFECTURE, Japan (AFNS) -- Maintainers from the 67th Aircraft Maintenance Unit here worked alongside their Japanese hosts Oct. 2 to learn how to use aerospace ground equipment during an aviation training relocation exercise at Hyakuri Air Base, Japan.

The Airmen trained on the Japan Air Self Defense Forces' AGE, which they will use throughout the weeklong exercise to safely get airplanes off the ground and back for bilateral training.

Master Sgt. Benjamin Adcock, the maintenance project officer for the exercise and maintenance superintendent at the 67th AMU, talked about the benefits of training on Japanese AGE.

"Utilizing in-place equipment not only helps cut costs and eases the logistical difficulties of transporting all the AGE, but it also makes our Airmen more versatile with the types of equipment they are able to use in the future," the sergeant said.

In order to fulfill the mission, approximately 70 Airmen from the 67th AMU and Equipment and Component Maintenance Squadrons will participate in this ATR.

"Everyone has an important part to play in order to make the mission a success," Sergeant Adcock added.

Three C-130 Hercules aircraft brought aircraft jacks, hydraulic and oil carts and other specific items needed to accomplish the mission. One of the main obstacles with these types of bilateral training exercises in the past has been the language barrier. However, this time, the team came prepared.

"One of the lead expeditors is fluent in Japanese and has been a great asset to bridging the gap made by the language barrier which has, in the past, sometimes made things a little bit more difficult," Sergeant Adcock said. "One thing may mean something to us but it doesn't mean the same thing to the Japanese, especially when it comes to acronyms."

Sergeant Adcock said he hopes the two maintenance sides can learn from each other and take that knowledge back to their units. He also added that this exercise is a great opportunity for the young Airmen who are participating to broaden their horizons and familiarize themselves with their Japanese counterparts.

Airman 1st Class Nicholas Tornow, a 67th AMU crew chief who has never participated in an aviation training relocation exercise before, said he's excited about working with, and learning from the Japanese. He also mentioned how, back at Kadena AB, there isn't much opportunity to work with the Japanese maintenance-wise.

"I'd like to see both sides of the house as far as how the Japanese train and how they work on their jets," Airman Tornow said. "If we do end up having to work together real-world, it will be a lot easier having had this prior interaction and familiarization with each other."

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