DVIDS – News – U.S. Air Force and Marine Corps commit to bilateral defense working group on Okinawa.

DVIDS – News – U.S. Air Force and Marine Corps commit to bilateral defense working group on Okinawa.

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan – Members of the U.S. Air Force and Marine Corps worked with members of the Japan Self-Defense Forces to improve interoperability during the Okinawa Bilateral Defense Working Group, June 3-6, 2024, at Kadena Air Base.

“The objective of BDOWG is to further develop joint and bilateral tactics, techniques and procedures in southwestern Japan,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Joseph Disch, 18th Operations Support Squadron Exercise and Plans Squadron commander.

What was previously just a working group to share procedures has evolved into an annual event where all participating militaries can learn and discuss ways to strengthen Okinawa’s overall defense in the event of an emergency.

This year, the Marines will take the lead, led by future exercise planner Capt. Pat Carney, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing.

“Every BDOWG is a three-service collaborative effort,” Carney said, “which allows us to have a stronger common understanding of what we’re doing in Okinawa and why.”

Carney said much of the conversation this year focused on the island’s integrated air and missile defense system and its ability to quickly repair any damage sustained.

One example of such recovery efforts is the rapid airfield damage repair program that exists at most Air Force bases, but in the case of Okinawa, events like BDOWG require forward planning as Marines, SDF and Air Force soldiers work together to quickly recover.

“[These concepts] “Rapid response is critical to the success of our air units following an airfield strike,” Carney said. “To do this effectively, we have expanded our involvement to include forces we have not previously worked with, including Marine Corps Bases Pacific and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force.”

BDOWG also opens up opportunities for coordination of other multinational training programs, such as the Assault Support Conference that the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing will host with the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force during BDOWG, expanding discussions of helicopter interoperability between the two nations.

Carney said the collaboration will further strengthen the U.S. and Japanese capabilities to conduct full-domain warfare by deploying strike support aircraft closer to the ground while defending against enemy aircraft and missiles at high altitudes.

Even without the added complexity of unforeseen circumstances, language and cultural differences can pose barriers to communication with partner nations, and with practice these challenges can be mitigated or eliminated.

“BDOWG is an incredible opportunity to be directly involved in the bigger picture of our area of ​​operation,” Carney said. “I can’t overemphasize how important it is to communicate with our bilateral and joint partners, share ideas, and build relationships every time we work together.”

“I am fortunate to be in a position to further deepen these relationships and advance efforts to make Okinawa safer, more resilient and more interoperable.”

Data collected: June 6, 2024
Posted on: July 6, 2024 00:21
Story ID: 473311
position: Kadena Air Base, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan

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