March 30, 2020
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Soldiers from U.S. Army Aviation Battalion Japan,
out of Camp Fuji, fly down to Yokosuka Naval Base and work with sailors from both Yokosuka
and Naval Air Facility Atsugi to train on personnel water rescue techniques. This particular exercise is a training validation
of the Army’s caving ladder, more commonly called, rope ladder and their ability to adjust
to the various factors in case of a real emergency. I think it went really well, there’s a couple
more things that we had a little more wind and a little bit of drift, so we compensated
and changed a couple of things or delayed a little bit, adjusted the exercise safely,
in order to accomplish the training, it was a very good event today. This training puts every unit to the test
and forces everyone to think and act as one. From adjusting the Army’s helicopter flight
approach in the sky, steerage and control from Yokosuka’s security boats on the water
To Atsugi’s safety swimmers in the water, they all worked together to make this event
come off without a hitch. We prepared for weeks on this evolution and
though we anticipated everything that we could possibly anticipate but one thing that was
kind of hard today was the current, the sea state was a little rough the current pushed
us around like crazy, so next time around we will try and anticipate that, making sure
our swimmers not get fatigued and making sure we are helping our swimmers to the best of
our ability. In order to get a full understanding of the
two services abilities, both the Army and the Navy deployed their aircraft to recover
personnel. The Army require five pickups using the caving
ladder and the Navy requires two pickups by using the helicopter’s hoist and search and
rescue swimmer to assist in the recovery. Overall the participants feel like this cross
branch training is beneficial. It’s actually a great opportunity, it was actually the first
time I’ve worked with anyone in the Navy, honestly just to be able to understand their
aircraft, their capabilities and to share our capabilities and our aircraft configuration
it’s definitely an interesting and awesome experience, I look forward to doing it again
and I hope next year we are able to repeat this exercise and just continue to help each
other out and continue to do operations like this. We just appreciate the support the Navy did
and to be hoisted into their helicopter was a great event for myself as well as my operations
officer the caving ladder training went well, the rescue swimmers helped out immensely,
having the safety boats available we appreciate opportunities to train like this as much as
possible. Both services hope to plan this event again next year and continue to build
on this training environment. Petty Officer Brian M. Brooks, Yokosuka Naval
Base, Japan.

Tony wyaad