News: Okinawa communications means one team
Story by Sgt. 1st Class Howard Reed
TORII STATION, Japan – Master Sgt. James Young, signal non-commissioned officer in charge, 10th Regional Support Group, stands in front of U.S. service members from various units on Okinawa. All eyes in the room are locked onto him and it’s a moment where he decides to break the ice and thank local airmen for participating in today’s training.
“Let me tell you this about our joint partners on Okinawa. We’re glad the U.S. Air Force, chose to participate today. When we need assistance everyone pulls together to help out. For example, the Marines will bring a public announcement system or audio and visual equipment and set it up. The Air Force provides equipment and remains on site to ensure the system is operational,” said Young.
More than 40 soldiers and airmen were on hand for the 10th RSG’s joint signal communications training Nov. 15 at Torii Station’s Training Support Center.
The training allowed signal experts throughout the island a chance to see share experiences thereby gaining knowledge and learning more about each sister services capabilities.
The overall objective of the training is to produce highly skilled soldiers, airmen, Marines and sailors who can effectively collaborate in a joint communications and operational environment.
“It’s critical to mission success for all signal troops who operate and maintain communications equipment to be able to work alongside other services within our joint environment,” said Young.
He also explained because Okinawa is a joint service environment the island provides an opportunity for everyone best practices about how each service performs and resolves issues.
The 10th RSG soldiers organized the joint training but did not instruct every training module. For example, airmen from Kadena’s 18th Wing Communications Squadron trained soldiers on how to interface an Air Force line of sight satellite radio with the Army’s Single Ground and Airborne Radio System or SINCGARS.
Air Force Staff Sgt. Frederick Rosario, radio frequency transmission system specialist, 18th Wing Communications Squadron, says it was great to come together to enhance professional relationships on island.
“I enjoy this type of training. It’s valuable in the sense we gain firsthand knowledge and experience relating to equipment or differences in each service’s core values. This makes us much better leaders,” explained Rosario.
All day Young worked with representatives from other services and issued a challenge to see who could set up an antenna faster. He said the humor was all about breaking down walls and stereotypes to enhance relations between sister services.
“This is very important to the growth and development of our soldiers as well as our counterparts. The next phase of our training is set for early next year and we plan to extend the invitation to the Marines and sailors,” stated Young.