BY SKY M. LARON, DIRECTOR OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS
NAVSUP FLEET LOGISTICS CENTER YOKOSUKA
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Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Deelta Connolly, from Naval Operational Support Center Minneapolis, temporarily assigned to Naval Air Facility (NAF) Atsugi’s Emergency Management Office, processes an applicant during the installation’s non-combatant evacuation drill in base club. The drill is part of a regional effort to ensure members of overseas installations are prepared in the event of an evacuation operation. –Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ryan G. Greene
Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Yokosuka logistics planners and supply representatives provided support to Keen Edge 16 from various locations throughout Japan January 23-29.
The two-week event was the latest in a series of Joint, bilateral command post exercises designed to increase combat readiness and interoperability between the Japan Self-Defense Forces and U.S. military.
"Participation in the exercise was a success because it provided a training benefit to our active duty and reserve personnel as well as fostered the establishment of key relationships for any future operations,” said Capt. Raymond Bichard, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka commanding officer. “Additionally, critical lessons were learned and familiarity with standing OPLANs was gained.”
In the U.S. military, an operation plan (OPLAN) is a complete and detailed plan for conducting Joint military operations.
Keen Edge has historically been part of an annual exercise series that alternates between field training exercises (called Keen Sword) and command post exercises. During Keen Edge 16, various Japanese and U.S. headquarter staffs employed computer simulations to practice the steps they would take in the event of a crisis or contingency.
“The biggest thing is connecting what we do and what we train for with the big mission and what’s going on over here,” said Chief Logistics Specialist Chad Elms, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka Navy Reserve, Phoenix detachment. “The exercise was a good opportunity for FLC to advertise their capabilities.”
NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka personnel helped man the Regional Operations Center (ROC) and Emergency Operations Center (EOC) on board Yokosuka Naval Base.
“What I valued the most was my interaction with all the active duty folks here and seeing how we plug in,” said Lt. j.g. Katie Tamisiea, an augmentee to the NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka reserve contingent attached to Navy Operational Support Center Omaha. “Seeing the relationship of the ROC with the EOC gave me an understanding of the bigger picture.”
NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka, Site Atsugi and Site Sasebo personnel participated on board Naval Air Facility Atsugi and Sasebo Naval Base respectively and were tasked by those base EOC’s to provide postal and personal property representatives in support of non-combatant evacuation operations.
Command post exercises are a cost-effective way of providing military participants with realistic and unobtrusive training in a simulated crisis.
“I was impressed with the 24/7 operations we were able to run during this exercise,” said Mark King, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka logistics plans specialist.
There were a lot of early mornings and late nights for the participants, said King, adding that those who took part for NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka did a great job.