CAMP NAHA, Okinawa, Japan --
U.S. military personnel with 3rd Medical Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group; 18th Medical Group, 18th Wing Support Squadron and U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa, attended a presentation and tour given by Japan Ground Self Defense Force soldiers with Medical Department, Ground Staff Office, Western Army, Dec. 12, 2017, at Camp Naha, Okinawa, Japan.
U.S. medical personnel were invited to Camp Naha during the Japanese and U.S. Medical Expert Exchange Event, a three-day bilateral training exchange where medical personnel from both militaries learned about each service’s medical training, tactics and procedures.
“We’re working today with the Japan Self Defense Force, building relationships and learning how we are going to manage medical capabilities with amphibious warfare assets,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Raymond Batz, the III Marine Expeditionary Force Surgeon. “It’s absolutely critical to take this opportunity to build relationships.”
The event, in its third iteration since 2015, featured guests of honor such as Maj. Gen. Yasunori Matsuki, the director general of the Medical Department, Ground Staff Office, JGSDF.
"I think the experience is good for strengthening the relationship between the U.S. and Japan," said Matsuki. "In this sense, this exchange is very valuable for us to learn how to provide that type of medical support."
The exchange included events on Camp Foster, Camp Hansen and Camp Naha and spanned a course of three days. During the events, U.S. and Japanese medical personnel were able to demonstrate different medical capabilities and scenarios to improve bilateral functionality between the two nations' militaries.
“We’re able to share our best practices with each other,” said Batz. “We held a lecture on medical logistics and supply regulation, and the JSDF conducted a mass-casualty demonstration, a capabilities brief and a hospital tour.”
U.S. military medical personnel were able to observe emergency care scenarios and capabilities presented by the JSDF, as well as observe advanced medical equipment such as ambulances, field X-Ray machines and mobile surgery units.
“We’re doing our part as a small portion of the U.S. military health services, to build on those relationships that are important to the bilateral nature of our alliance,” said Batz. “We’re excited to be a part of the health services coordination and subject matter exchange with U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa, 18th Medical Group and the JSDF Medical Department.”