Koku-Jieitai, Japan Air Self-Defense Force, security personnel from across Japan gathered together at Yokota Air Base to take part in a bilateral training event with the 374th Security Forces Squadron Aug. 4-6.
The 374th SFS provided Koku-Jieitai members with a three-day aircraft security training course with the aim of enhancing their security capabilities and the interoperability between the U.S. Air Force and the Koku-Jieitai.
The course taught Koku-Jieitai members a variety of skills including basic security tactics, verbal judo, airfield surveillance, cross-culture awareness and combative techniques.
“Verbal judo was the especially big thing to take away from this course,” said Senior Airman Dylan Crosby, 374th SFS noncommissioned officer in charge of customs immigration and security team program manager. “Basically, verbal judo is how to deescalate a situation using only words, gaining voluntary compliance using your words instead of using your weapons. When we did our final practical training scenario on the flightline, after all the lectures, they really had better understand the contents of the course.”
This was Crosby’s second time in a bilateral training environment, with his first experience with his Koku-Jieitai counterparts occurring in a bilateral exchange program at the Koku-Jieitai Hofu Air Base in January of 2020.
“Conducting bilateral training like this enables us to get a better understanding of how we can both conduct our missions and enhance our security capabilities for both Koku-Jieitai and U.S. Air Forces,” Crosby said. “Additionally, it gives us time to share in each other’s culture, bringing us closer together and strengthening our bond as defenders. If we ever need to work together to conduct joint operations in the future, we will definitely be able to take advantage of this experience.”
While the training was conducted under the restrictions of an ongoing pandemic, that didn’t stop the participants from making the most of the experience.
“Although there may be limitations with the ongoing COVID-19 situation, we sincerely appreciate 374th SFS giving us the training opportunity,” said Koku-Jieitai Capt. Ryo Shiraishi, Base Defense Development and Training Squadron security guard. “I work for BDDTS which instructs other Koku-Jieitai security guard squadrons throughout Japan on advanced base defense tactics. I will bring back what I’ve learned here to my unit and see how we can apply these skills to our own Koku-Jieitai procedures.”
Three days of training helped deepen and further strengthen bilateral ties with our Koku-Jieitai counterparts.
“Although this was the first time we’ve done this course, it was incredibly successful,” Crosby said. “I believe that Koku-Jieitai members learned a lot from the course and we also learned a lot from them. They are highly motivated, asked tons of questions which is exactly what we want when we host events like this course. Because of that communication and this training, we both gained a better understanding of one another.”