HomeNewsArticle Display

ArticleCS - Article View

Team Kadena fuels joint operations training

Department of Defense; DoD; Kadena Air Base; Kadena; Pacific; Pacific Air Force; Air Force; Japan; PACAF; PACOM; 5AF; 5th Air Force; USFJ; United States Forces Japan; People; Aircraft; KAB; Air Power; USAF; United States Air Force; Pacific Command

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Jacob Gillis, 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels distribution operator, returns a signal for refueling operations during a U.S. Army Aviation Battalion Japan collective training exercise Aug. 1, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The 18th LRS fuels flight works day and night to maintain flight operations for a variety of joint and coalition units stationed in Japan and throughout the Pacific region, ensuring continuous air operations in support of U.S. and allied interests. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman John Linzmeier)

Department of Defense; DoD; Kadena Air Base; Kadena; Pacific; Pacific Air Force; Air Force; Japan; PACAF; PACOM; 5AF; 5th Air Force; USFJ; United States Forces Japan; People; Aircraft; KAB; Air Power; USAF; United States Air Force; Pacific Command

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Jacob Gillis, 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels distribution operator, drags a fuel hose from a tanker to a U.S. Army Aviation Battalion Japan UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter during a battalion collective training exercise Aug. 1, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The 18th LRS fuels flight works day and night to maintain flight operations for a variety of joint and coalition units stationed in Japan and throughout the Pacific region, ensuring continuous air operations in support of U.S. and allied interests. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman John Linzmeier)

Department of Defense; DoD; Kadena Air Base; Kadena; Pacific; Pacific Air Force; Air Force; Japan; PACAF; PACOM; 5AF; 5th Air Force; USFJ; United States Forces Japan; People; Aircraft; KAB; Air Power; USAF; United States Air Force; Pacific Command

U.S. Airmen from the 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron work side-by-side with U.S. Army Aviation Battalion Japan Soldiers to refuel HH-60 Black Hawk helicopters during a U.S. Army Aviation Battalion Japan collective training exercise Aug. 1, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The USAABJ training was a joint effort with support from Airmen, Soldiers and Marines stationed in Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman John Linzmeier)

Department of Defense; DoD; Kadena Air Base; Kadena; Pacific; Pacific Air Force; Air Force; Japan; PACAF; PACOM; 5AF; 5th Air Force; USFJ; United States Forces Japan; People; Aircraft; KAB; Air Power; USAF; United States Air Force; Pacific Command

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Jacob Gillis, 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels distribution operator, conducts UH-60 Black Hawk refueling during a U.S. Army Aviation Battalion Japan collective training exercise Aug. 1, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The 18th LRS fuels flight works day and night to maintain flight operations for a variety of joint and coalition units stationed in Japan and throughout the Pacific region, ensuring continuous air operations in support of U.S. and allied interests. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman John Linzmeier)

Department of Defense; DoD; Kadena Air Base; Kadena; Pacific; Pacific Air Force; Air Force; Japan; PACAF; PACOM; 5AF; 5th Air Force; USFJ; United States Forces Japan; People; Aircraft; KAB; Air Power; USAF; United States Air Force; Pacific Command

A U.S. Army Aviation Battalion Japan UH-60 Black Hawk prepares for flight during a battalion collective training exercise July 31, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. USAABJ, stationed at Camp Zama, Japan, and the 1st Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), stationed at Torii Station, Japan, conducted cargo sling loading and parachute jump training. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Greg Erwin)

Department of Defense; DoD; Kadena Air Base; Kadena; Pacific; Pacific Air Force; Air Force; Japan; PACAF; PACOM; 5AF; 5th Air Force; USFJ; United States Forces Japan; People; Aircraft; KAB; Air Power; USAF; United States Air Force; Pacific Command

U.S. Army Aviation Battalion Japan Sgt. Reymark Racadio, UH-60 Black Hawk crew chief, inspects a rear rotor assembly in preparation for flight during a battalion collective training exercise July 31, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. The UH-60 Black Hawk is a multi-role aircraft capable of conducting a wide variety of missions including cargo lift, medevac, firefighting, search and rescue, combat assault, and special operations. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Greg Erwin)

Department of Defense; DoD; Kadena Air Base; Kadena; Pacific; Pacific Air Force; Air Force; Japan; PACAF; PACOM; 5AF; 5th Air Force; USFJ; United States Forces Japan; People; Aircraft; KAB; Air Power; USAF; United States Air Force; Pacific Command

U.S. Army Aviation Battalion Japan Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jimmy Kafer, UH-60 Black Hawk pilot, briefs participants during a battalion collective training exercise July 31, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. USAABJ, stationed at Camp Zama, Japan, and the 1st Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), stationed at Torii Station, Japan, conducted cargo sling loading and parachute jump training. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Greg Erwin)

Department of Defense; DoD; Kadena Air Base; Kadena; Pacific; Pacific Air Force; Air Force; Japan; PACAF; PACOM; 5AF; 5th Air Force; USFJ; United States Forces Japan; People; Aircraft; KAB; Air Power; USAF; United States Air Force; Pacific Command

U.S. Army Soldiers and Marines conduct cargo sling loading during a battalion collective training exercise 31, 2017, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. USAABJ, stationed at Camp Zama, Japan, and the 1st Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), stationed at Torii Station, Japan, conducted cargo sling loading and parachute jump training. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Greg Erwin)

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan --
Members from the U.S. Army Aviation Battalion Japan and the 1st Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) converged on Kadena July 31, 2017 through August 3, 2017, for a battalion collective training exercise. 

 

The exercise tested the unit readiness to respond to planned and unplanned contingencies, and they used Kadena and 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels management flight to make sure those operations could be completed. 

 

“We come down here to do joint training with the 1st Special Forces Group because they’re the only Army maneuver group in Japan that we can work with,” said U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jimmy Kafer, a pilot for the USAABJ.  “It gives us a chance to do training in a field environment, and an opportunity to do confined area landing, sling load operations, and airborne operations.”

 

The USAABJ used UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters for the exercise due to its versatility of use. UH-60s are capable of use for cargo sling load, parachute jumps, as well as medical evacuation and VIP transport.

 

The 18th LRS fuels management team is the lifeline to flight operations.  Without the fuel, flight operations cannot happen, and members like U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jerald Hickmon, 18th LRS fuels distribution supervisor keep operations moving.

 

“We enable units to maintain flight ops through fuel support by supporting any and every aircraft that comes through, whether it’s diesel or gasoline,” said Hickmon. “We make sure they get the fuel, because without us they wouldn’t be able to fly.”

 

The UH-60s used by the U.S. Army are similar to HH-60’s stationed at Kadena, but the obstacles of working with different units made the job a challenge for the 18th LRS Fuels team.

 

“One of the obstacles for fueling some of these special ops aircraft is they have the blades running,” said Hickmon. “We have to have specialized, qualified people for the hot refueling, and we have to position our guys out there prior to them landing.”

 

Last year alone, the 18th LRS Fuels team distributed over 40 million gallons of fuel during operations, at an estimated cost of $88.8 million.  The unit vehicle inventory consists of 57 vehicles, including the 40 R-11 Refuelers that are ready, on call and prepared to service aircraft at a moment's notice.
Kafer and other members of USAABJ successfully completed their training thanks to Team Kadena's capabilities and mission readiness.

“I don’t think we’d be here and be able to do what we do without your support,” said Kafer. “If we didn’t have that level of support, it would have been a much more difficult transition to be able to do mission support here ourselves.”