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Misawa Airmen host JGSDF soldiers during bilateral exchange

Misawa Airmen hosts JGSDF soldiers during bilateral exchange

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Sergeant 1st Class Tetsuya Aoyama, left, a 1st Training Unit assistant English instructor out of Camp Higashi-Chitose, Hokkaido, Japan, and Senior Master Sgt. Dennis Kuzel, right, the 35th Security Forces Squadron S-3 operations superintendent, observe military working dog tactics during an exchange program at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Nov. 14, 2017. Misawa Air Base hosts the exchanges with JGSDF personnel twice a year, allowing their basic English course students to immerse themselves in an English-speaking military environment, further improving the relationship between the two forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Sadie Colbert)

Misawa Airmen hosts JGSDF soldiers during bilateral exchange

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Sergeant Kimura Mitsuhiro, left, a 1st Training Unit gunner out of Camp Higashi-Chitose, Hokkaido, Japan, works with U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class David Wilson, right, a 35th Logistics Readiness Squadron ground transportation technician, to tighten towing chains during an exchange program at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Nov. 14, 2017. As a part of their basic English course curriculum, Misawa provides an opportunity for the JGSDF members to apply their acquired language skills by pairing JGSDF members together with their U.S. Air Force counterparts who perform similar jobs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Sadie Colbert)

Misawa Airmen hosts JGSDF soldiers during bilateral exchange

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class David Wilson, left, a 35th Logistics Readiness Squadron ground transportation technician, explains to Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Sergeant Kimura Mitsuhiro, right, a 1st Training Unit gunner out of Camp Higashi-Chitose, Hokkaido, Japan, how to use a rollback wrecker towing truck during an exchange program at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Nov. 14, 2017. Not only did the JGSDF members have an opportunity to practice their English, they embedded with their U.S. Air Force counterparts, who taught them how to perform their day-to-day duties. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Sadie Colbert)

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan --

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force service members worked alongside U.S. Air Force Airmen during an exchange program, here, Nov. 14.

The 35th Fighter Wing hosted the JGSDF 1st Sergeant Training Unit out of 1st Camp Higashi-Chitose, Hokkaido, Japan, as a way for the JGSDF’s basic English course students to practice military-specific vocabulary.

Misawa AB hosts the exchange twice a year as part of the JGSDF’s basic English course curriculum and works with the Chitose unit in order to pair soldiers and Airmen with similar jobs.

“It’s good for our members to interact with each other,” said Airman 1st Class Luis Jara, a 35th Logistics Readiness Squadron ground transportation technician. “This program allowed me to put faces to names while working together.”

The exchange program pairs JGSDF personnel with Airmen from various career fields. During this exchange, the 35th Security Forces Squadron military working dog unit and 35th Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle operations hosted the JGSDF personnel, allowing for a well-rounded view of the 35th Fighter Wing’s mission.

“The program was good and also very interesting,” said JGSDF Sergeant Mitsuhiro Kimura, a 1st Training Unit gunner from Camp Higashi-Chitose, Hokkaido, Japan. “It allowed me to use practical English, and I also learned the importance of gesturing to communicate.”

During their full day of relationship-building, Airmen showed their JGSDF counterparts their unique jobs and let them help with their duties, allowing JGSDF men and women the opportunity to use a variety of new English words to increase their communication skills.

“We came here because we want our students to be immersed in an English-speaking military culture and work one-on-one with each other,” said JGSDF 1st Lt. Chika Mitsuo, a 1st Training Unit English instructor. “It’s very important to establish these friendships early on, and this program is a great way for them to connect with others on their level.”