IWAKUNI, Japan - The Iwakuni Customs, Coast Guard and Police conducted their annual bilateral antiterrorism training exercise in the Iwakuni Port Nov. 27, 2012. Members of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni’s Antiterrorism Force Protection Office and the Provost Marshal’s Office attended the event.
Andrew R. Samuels, the station antiterrorism officer, Gunnery Sgt. Juan Flores, the antiterrorism chief, and Petty Officer 1st Class Adladdin D. Slate, Harbor Operations Security Chief, were there to observe the exercise.
“It was very important for representatives from the base to be here,” said Slate. “It (the exercise) shows their capabilities, and in a time of need if Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni needs their assistance then we can call on them, and we know what they are capable of doing and can help us help them.”
Antiterrorism and PMO presences also strengthened bonds with local law enforcement.
“I think us being here today is a good representation from the base, and it shows a good interest in the Japanese Police Boat Division and the Japanese Coast Guard, and that we need to know how they do their job out here,” said Slate. “It helps us to do our job better, and in the future I hope to hold exercises with the Japanese Coast Guard and the Japanese Police between the base and the City of Iwakuni in case the need arises for us to work together in a real-world crisis situation.”
Flores said the competency of the local law enforcement impressed him.
“I was very surprised about their capabilities,” said Flores. “One of the ways was how they were able to go mobile with their customs and X-ray machine. Also their coordination, I like the way their coast guard coordinated on the water, it was great. I hope that in the future we can coordinate with them and get some exercises in accordance with our harbor and their coast guard.”
In addition to the displays on the water, the exercises also highlighted police abilities on land. Near the end of the exercise, a knife-wielding, masked man burst from a docked boat in the harbor.
This allowed the Iwakuni Police and Customs to demonstrate their ability to contain and subdue a violent aggressor and take him into custody.
Following the detainment, a hazardous material containment team provided a display of how they would handle a real world HAZMAT situation. At the conclusion of the training, the boats set sail and the police packed away their gear. The exercise was a success and both the personnel from MCAS Iwakuni and the Iwakuni Police Forces left knowing their shores are in safe hands.