* The below site is copied from Anatakara, a Japanese/ English site. Japanese language in the original site was omitted here for avoiding confusion. To see the Japanese, click the link.
*Note: Although not being in practical operation yet due to technical difficulties, the Fast Breeder Reactor, called ' Monju', in Rokkasho（coordinates:40°58′02″N 141°22′28″E, Aomori, Japan, is very near to Misawa Air Base （coordinates:40°42′19″N 141°22′19″E) which is in common use, as the only such site in Japan, by Japanese commercial airlines, Japan Air Self Defense, and the U.S.Air Force in Japan. This situation can be said to pose one of the greatest threats in Japan, considering the past crash record of the U.S.military aircrafts especially those in Okinawa.
Misawa military, city leaders partner for first-ever exercise
Posted 10/14/2010 Updated 10/15/2010
by 1st Lt. Cammie Quinn
35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Table-top exercise for emergency response, Oct.13, 2010
The exercise, created in response to a recent aircraft crash-landing near Okinawa, Japan, outlined joint emergency response efforts between Misawa's local and military emergency response teams.
Through the exercise, emergency responders established policies and procedures used when a U.S. Air Force aircraft crashes, or is forced to land in Japanese communities.
"It is important to respond quickly and efficiently in all emergency situations involving U.S. Air Force personnel and property, both on and off base," Col. David Wiegand, 35th Mission Support Group commander, said during the opening ceremonies for the exercise. "This exercise allows us to outline a response strategy in the event of an off-base accident. "It also built a strong sense of teamwork and partnership with the Misawa community," he added.
During the exercise base first responders worked with members from the Amori Prefecture and Misawa City Police Department, Misawa city office and defense office. On the base side of the exercise, members of the 35th Civil Engineer Squadron's emergency management and fire protection flights, 35th Security Forces Squadron, 35th Medical Group and 35th Fighter Wing presented their respective contributions to the scenario.
"The exercise didn't change our procedures; it simply provided us an opportunity to exercise our joint capabilities and strengthen confidence that we can work together proficiently in the event of a disaster," said Lt. Col. Dustin Sutton, 35th SFS, commander.
"Although we plan for these events by creating checklists and conducting exercises on base, it's important to ensure we conduct the same planning and exercising with our host nation government to ensure we can respond to a similar incident off-base."
The exercise scenario began as a USAF helicopter pilot made an emergency call the base air traffic control tower. Once contact was made, the pilot was forced to crash-land in Misawa City, initiating a four-phase reaction plan.
Phase one began with the simulated emergency call to the ATC. The second phase involved intra-organizational communication and arrival of initial responders to the accident site. Departments associated with life saving, fire fighting, site preserving, traffic controlling and evacuation practices deployed their forces during phase three, and a safety check occurred during the fourth phase.
Throughout each phase, representatives from the response teams demonstrated their location and movement by moving miniature automobiles on a large map of the Misawa community.
While working together, teams identified differences in practice, allowing them to better prepare to respond to an emergency, said Chief Master Sgt. McHudson Theodore, 35th CES fire chief.
"The exercise provides us with a better insight of the community chain-of-command," said Chief Theodore. "In the Air Force, fire response teams fall within a separate chain of command from emergency medical responders. It's important to be able to recognize the differences between each agency."
Amori Prefecture senior police superintendent, Toshihide Shimayama, declared the exercise successful, and thanked all key players in the day's events. "I have great gratitude to the teams here, especially base personnel," he said. "I can see all participants are the best. It's important to maintain mutual communication to ensure a continued success."
The table top exercise is in preparation of an upcoming physical exercise in downtown Misawa City.