Children learn about deployment at Skoshi Warrior

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Corey M. Pettis
  • 18th Wing Public Affairs
The Japanese word "skoshi" may mean "small" or "little," but the fun times shared by children, parents and volunteers at Marine Hangar 3 Saturday were anything but small.

More than 200 children participated in this year's Skoshi Warrior. Skoshi Warrior is an Airman and Family Readiness Center event that is designed to help children understand the deployment process of their parents.

After registering and receiving a pre-deployment briefing from Brig. Gen. Barry Cornish, 18th Wing commander, Kadena's Skoshi Warriors processed through the different stops in the deployment process, getting treats and stamps on their checklists as they moved through booths such as medical, dental and legal while learning the importance of each one.

The children were also given a chance to show their skills by weaving their way through an obstacle course during the "deployment," which included a balance beam run and a low-crawl.

Other activities included demonstrations and interactive displays such as explosive ordnance disposal robots, police weapons and vehicles, an F-15 Eagle, an HH-60 Pavehawk, and a fire truck. They climbed into the vehicles and handled some of the equipment in order to see the different aspects of the military mission firsthand.

Food and beverages were provided to all participants and volunteers. 

"It's really good that they get familiar with this type of equipment," said Senior Airman James Permito, 18th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighter. "Seeing the kids on the line and having them put out a simulated fire, I think they really like that."

Senior Master Sgt. David Najera, 718th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron first sergeant, taught the warriors military drill and tested them on their ability to perform facing movements and going to the position of attention.

"I think it's good to have the kids come out and get to experience what we have to do on a regular basis," Najera said. "My favorite part about today is seeing the kids do the drill practice, they seemed to really enjoy it."

Parents followed their kids around, taking pictures and smiling knowing their "Skoshi Warriors" have a better understanding of what a deployment in the military can be like.