Joint base Airmen participate in Silver Flag

Tech. Sgt. Mark Farmer, 647th Civil Engineer Squadron pavement and heavy equipment operator with Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, relays information about crater damage to the airfield damage repair chief during Silver Flag 1106 at Kadena Air Base, Japan on June 28. U.S. Air Force photo by A1C Jarvie Z. Wallace

Silver Flag prepares Airmen, Sailors, Marines for contingencies

Staff Sgt. Amanda Savannah

18th Wing Public Affairs

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -Six days of intense training culminated in a field exercise at Kadena Air Base, Japan on June 28 for more than 120 Airmen, Sailors and Marines during Silver Flag 11-06.

Civil engineer and force support Airmen from Joint Base Pearl HarborHickam, Hawaii, and Kadena and Misawa Air Base, Japan teamed with Navy Seabees from Camp Shields and Marines from Camp Foster to train on sustaining the mission during contingency operations.

During the field exercise, the students were evaluated on how well they understood their specific contingency operation skills, based on their individual career fields. For example, pavements and equipment Airmen are responsible for runway repair.

“The Silver Flag exercise simulates if we were to go to war and our airfield was attacked,” said Tech. Sgt. Bryan Rosburg, Det. 1 554th Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineer Squadron pavements and equipment contingency training NCO in charge. “[It ensures] these Airmen know how to go out and repair the runway so the planes can land and take off and support the aircraft’s mission.”

Staff Sgt. Chad Shipp, 647th Civil Engineer Squadron water and fuels maintenance technician from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, said the training and hands-on exercise helped prepare him for future possible contingency operations.

“[We learned] a lot of classroom stuff, and we’ve been doing bypass repair on a fuel line [during the exercise],” Shipp said. “It’s hot, but it’s going good. This gets us ready in case anything happens, particularly in the PACAF [Pacific Air Forces] region. If a pipeline gets blown up, we’ll be ready to take care of it, so it [Silver Flag] has definitely helped.”

Maj. Rob Moriarty, Det. 1 554th Red Horse Squadron commander, said the Silver Flag training and exercise focuses on preparing Air Force civil engineer and force support Airmen for contingency operations. However, the importance of teamwork and joint cohesion has been reintroduced into the training as Sailors and Marines have rejoined Silver Flag.

“This is the first year in quite a while where we’ve been able to do a fully integrated joint exercise with both the Marines and Navy Seabees, where they joined us for the training and were working with us throughout the exercise,” Moriarty said. “The whole point of all of this is to support the PACOM [Pacific Command] mission statement and their objectives, and improve our partnership with our host nations [and joint services] and be able to support them.”

Navy Senior Chief John Cunningham, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133 utilitiesman chief senior from Camp Shields, coordinated with Red Horse leadership to include Navy Seabees in Silver Flag 1106.

“I think it’s very important to have an opportunity like this,” he said. “It is something we don’t get a very big chance of doing. We work hand-in-hand with the Red Horse unit here in contingencies and on deployment sites, so getting the opportunity to work with their command element, learn some terminology and work sideby-side builds a pretty good relationship and opportunity that is unique to some of the locations we get to go to.”

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