CHITOSE, Japan - While artillery and jet engines make some of the louder noises associated with war, it's another kind of noise that ensures the fight continues - the sounds of chatter between logisticians supplying the battlefield. On Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido that chatter was between logisticians I Corps and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force’s Northern Army Dec. 7.
During Yama Sakura 65, soldiers assigned to I Corps and the JGSDF Sustainment Cell staff ensured food and ammunition were getting where needed on the digital battlefield.
“What is happening in the logistics sections is materiel readiness between the Northern Army and U.S. Forces,” said Lt. Col. Evangeline Siaz, material readiness chief, I Corps. “We are moving the beans and bullets and accounting for everything and where it goes.”
During the exercise the JGSDF looked to the experience of U.S. Soldiers for ways to streamline their systems and processes.
“We are enjoying this opportunity to work with the U.S. and are learning a lot from them,” said Lt. Col. Masaheko Ikehata, equipment management section, JGSDF Northern Army. “We have a lot to learn because we have not participated in the war. So we have to learn from the U.S. side because they have a lot more experience.”
Fortunately, YS 65 logistical operations are working smoothly between the two forces, overcoming language barriers and communication.
“The exercise has been going very well from our foxhole,” said Siaz. “We have had a couple of issues with expectation management and misunderstandings, but the issues were quickly resolved.”
Siaz said she hopes both forces develop their logistics skills and take away ideas and innovations for future missions.
“It’s important for us to remember, no matter what country, no matter what nationality, we have a common goal-to defeat the enemy,” said Siaz. “Our hope for the future is to do logistics as a more combined team.”
Ikehata said the YS 65 benefits not only the Northern Army’s logisticians, but also the entire JGSDF.
“Our guys are not only Northern Army Headquarters,” said Ikehata. “Most come from many divisions, brigades and other units. They can take what they learn here and teach back at their units.”