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Bilateral training benefits all involved Pfc. Daniel Lograsso

Soldiers from 3rd Platoon, 66th Engineer Company, 33rd Infantry Regiment, train with members of 10th Division, Middle Army, Japan Ground Self Defense Force Sunday during Orient Shield 12 on counter-improvised explosive device operations, which covered tasks such as minesweeping and IED detection. Orient Shield 12 is the 13th iteration of the annual bilateral training exercise demonstrating future and continuing commitment to deepening the friendship between the two nations. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Dan LoGrasso)

AIBANO TRAINING AREA, JAPAN – Soldiers from 3rd Platoon, 66th Engineer Company out of Schofield Barracks trained side by side with Japanese Ground Self Defense Force Members (JGSDF) in an exercise that focused on identifying and responding to improvised explosive devices (IEDs) at the Aibano Training Area, Japan, Sunday as part of Orient Shield 12.

“Since U.S. troops have gone to war they have learned everything in combat,” said Sgt. Maj. Masahiro Yamasaki of Mie, Japan. “We get to know what they learned.”

According to Sgt. Kyle Abernatha from Reno, Nev., acting squad leader with the 66th, the transference of knowledge included integrating the JGSDF in movements, showing them what to look for and how to best respond to IEDs. The training ended with the JGSDF moving and finding IEDs and IED indicators by themselves. The JGSDF quickly learned and implemented the training they received, he said.

“They are very quick learners,” said Abernatha. “They pick things up very fast. They totally absorb what you’re giving them. They put their training with our training and create a quick, smooth, and efficient moving formation.”

Although the training conducted consisted of information being passed from soldiers of the 66th to the JGSDF members, the benefit of the training exchange went both ways.

“They move extremely fast,” said Abernatha. “Their violence to action is impeccable. We have definitely picked that up. We work extremely well with our counterparts and know them professionally. So when we go out and work with them we have learned to emulate their sense of urgency in our training.”

Troops from both countries will continue to share training experiences and techniques until the close of Orient Shield 12 on November 7.


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This work, Bilateral training benefits all involved, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:10.28.2012

Date Posted:10.29.2012 08:58

Location:SHIGA, JP

Hometown:RENO, NV, US

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