HomeNewsArticle Display

Filling the gap: Airmen, Marines and Sailors practice fixing damaged airfields

Airmen and Marines gather around a display model to go over a joint airfield damage repair exercise May 19, 2016, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Airmen from the 18th Civil Engineer Squadron taught Marines and Navy Seabees how they repair damaged airfields. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Omari Bernard)

Airmen and Marines gather around a display model to go over a joint airfield damage repair exercise May 19, 2016, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Airmen from the 18th Civil Engineer Squadron taught Marines and Navy Seabees how they repair damaged airfields. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Omari Bernard)

An Airman from the 18th Civil Engineer Squadron directs a forklift during a joint airfield damage repair exercise May 19, 2016, on Kadena Air Base, Japan. The exercise allowed new Airmen to gain real world experience in a peacetime environment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Omari Bernard)

An Airman from the 18th Civil Engineer Squadron directs a forklift during a joint airfield damage repair exercise May 19, 2016, on Kadena Air Base, Japan. The exercise allowed new Airmen to gain real world experience in a peacetime environment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Omari Bernard)

Marines fill a 50-foot crater during a two-day joint airfield damage repair exercise May 18, 2016, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Airmen from the 18th Civil Engineer Squadron taught Marines and Navy Seabees how they repair damaged airfields. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Omari Bernard)

Marines fill a 50-foot crater during a two-day joint airfield damage repair exercise May 18, 2016, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Airmen from the 18th Civil Engineer Squadron taught Marines and Navy Seabees how they repair damaged airfields. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Omari Bernard)

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan (AFNS) -- Civil engineer Airmen, combat engineer Marines and Navy Seabees trained together May 18-19 during a joint airfield damage and repair contingency exercise held at Kadena Air Base.

The exercise allowed 18th Civil Engineer Squadron Airmen to demonstrate and then guide Marine Wing Support Squadron 172 combat engineers and Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 4 Seabees through a hands-on demonstration of how the Air Force repairs damaged airfields.

For Master Sgt. Steven Cordova, the 18th CES expeditionary engineering flight chief, the focus of the training was learning to operate efficiently together.

"The main focus is to close the gap between services," Cordova said. "Right now, everyone kind of operates on their own terms and has their own way of doing things.”

Although there may be differences between the training of the services, their objectives are the same -- fill craters and get the airfield operational again.

"The steps are a little bit different, but in essence the steps are the same," said Marine Staff Sgt. Justin Luk, an MWSS 172 combat engineer. "Assess the crater, make it flat and from there we fill it in."

Luk said the first day of the exercise was mainly spent watching the Airmen perform the damage repair and the second day the Marines took over and performed the repairs the same way.

"We had multiple objectives coming out here," Luk said. "One was to reaffirm that we are capable of doing it. Another was to learn what we could from our Air Force counterparts."

According to Luk, Marine combat engineers deploy to different forward operating bases and often those FOBs will have mixed units.

"It's one team and one fight," Luk said. "Here in peacetime we are able to train that way."

The exercise gave members from the three services an opportunity to familiarize themselves with each other and their junior members to experience working in a joint environment.

"It was a good learning opportunity for some of our guys to get some experience on something they haven't done before," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Darcel Tinner, an NMCB 4 Seabee.

From Tinner's experience, repairing damaged airfields for the Navy involves more manual work than the use of heavy machinery.

"We'll fill holes by hand compared to us using machines," Tinner said. "If there's anything we'll take away from this, it's to use more machines."

Cordova said the overall goal of these exercises is to improve their craft and interoperability with multiple services on Okinawa.

“When push comes to shove, we need to be able to work together and that's what today is all about,” Cordova said.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: Bringing them home. More than 82,000 Americans remain missing from #WWII through the Gulf Wars and other conflicts. The…
RT @USAF_ACC: Today is POW/MIA Day. We will forever remember and honor the lives lost fighting for our country. 🇺🇸 #USAF #POWMIARecognitio
Weren't able to make #ASC19 this year? No problem. We've got the goods. Push ▶️ to hear from first-time attendees a… https://t.co/rEOE1eukwz
Howdy Texans! #AmerciasAirForce is heading to the #lonestarstate on Sept. 27. Hear this #Airman share his love for… https://t.co/BS1ysk4ST3
The return of great power competition requires the U.S. military services to change and adapt quickly. Hear from De… https://t.co/kKiNeHywzp
RT @AirMobilityCmd: The four fans of freedom are blowing strong as a U.S Air Force C-130J Hercules from Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansa…
RT @ActingSecAF: Kudos to @AirForceAssoc on #ASC19 👏🏻 What a wonderful professional opportunity for #Airmen & industry to expand our compe…
.@ACC_Commander designates the 16th Air Force as a new information warfare numbered #AirForce at #ASC19. As… https://t.co/LMiMJ3rWNO
RT @AstroHague: Thank you to the Airmen across the globe who make the human exploration of space possible. Wishing the @usairforce a happy…
RT @Hanscom_AFB: “The @usairforce is leading the charge across @DeptofDefense. No one else in #government has as much ... of this software…
RT @PACAF: Commanders from Australia, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Philippines, Thailand and the U.S. met for the 2019 Logistics and Safet…
To all those who helped establish the long blue line past, present and future, we honor you and we remember with th… https://t.co/teymF7proy
#ASC19: "We’re all in this together trying to make your service to country the best experience on the planet. We w… https://t.co/rdbCDBJr2c
#VCSAF Gen. Stephen Wilson speaks on what makes the #AirForce unique. #ASC19 https://t.co/gStwUZoaQC
RT @AFSpace: @AstroHague takes #aimhigh to the extreme by celebrating the @usairforce's birthday from the @Space_Station! #FrontiersofBlue
RT @VP: Happy 72nd birthday to the @usairforce! On behalf of a grateful nation, thank you to the amazing men and women of the Air Force for…
#ASC19: There's a challenge to maintain warfighting capabilities until new bombers and missiles arrive. Hear more f… https://t.co/SWB3VjNod8
#ASC19: Want to know which three acquisition trends #AirForce acquisition experts believe should "go viral?" Click… https://t.co/hsiH3oQXOX
RT @NSAGov: Happy Birthday to the @usairforce! For 72 years you've taught us to aim high. We look forward to continuing to fly, fight, and…
RT @AFGlobalStrike: The Air Force is celebrating 72 years of service, so here is 72 seconds of Global Strike Command! #USAFBday #ThisIs72 h…