An Air Force military working dog’s (MWD) first trip to Japan has marked a significant step in Australia’s commitment to enhancing security forces integration with Japanese and United States counterparts.
CAPTION: RAAF military working dog, Zlo, during the trilateral security forces subject matter expertise exchange at Iruma Air Base, Japan. Story by Flight Lieutenant Claire Campbell.
RAAF personnel recently travelled to Iruma and Yokota Air Bases to participate in a subject matter expertise exchange and key leader engagement with the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (Koku-Jieitai) and United States Air Force (USAF).
Corporal Dane Snowden and MWD Zlo spent the exchange conducting joint MWD training with the trilateral teams, including Koku-Jieitai Search and Rescue, USAF Explosive Detection Searches, Tracking, and Scout and Patrol tactics.
Kennel Manager at 13 Squadron Sergeant Natasha Falconer also attended as an adviser.
“We learnt how each other train and implement these capabilities and assisted each other in further developing these areas by sharing experiences and training techniques,” Sergeant Falconer said.
“The knowledge gained from the Koku-Jieitai and USAF personnel was invaluable for us and the ability to build relationships with our partners was certainly a massive benefit and highlight from the week.”
The trilateral MWD teams forged strong relationships during the exchange that will ensure greater understanding and interoperability during exercises and operations into the future.
Senior representatives from all three nations, including RAAF Group Captain Melissa Neilson, co-signed the ‘Spirit of Cooperation’, a document that affirms support for increased trilateral cooperation and integration.
“The Koku-Jieitai and USAF have a similar focus on agile operations and fly-away security,” Group Captain Neilson said.
“This was an excellent opportunity to engage with counterparts and discuss emerging concepts and technologies.”
The exchange in Japan also involved the sharing of knowledge regarding unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and other security forces technology.
RAAF Squadron Leader Patrick Millea delivered briefings on UAS use within the RAAF Security Forces and exchanging concepts of employment of counter UAS.
“Exchanging each nation’s concepts allows for baselining common technology and security effects that can be employed during combined exercises to further enhance interoperability,” Squadron Leader Millea said.
“It provided opportunities to learn from each other’s operational and tactical experience, enhancing future interoperability.”
CAPTION: A group of Royal Australian Air Force, Japan Air Self-Defense Force, and United States Air Force personnel during the Trilateral Security Force Subject Matter Expert Exchange at Iruma Air Base in Japan.