News | March 13, 2017

More than one way to fill a hole

By Senior Airman Nick Emerick 18th Wing Public Affairs

Heavy machinery lumbered around, piloted by U.S. Air Force Airmen, U.S. Navy Seabees, and U.S. Marine Corps combat engineers during an exercise which included the repair of a mock-up of an airfield in Kadena Air Base’s munitions storage area. 

The exercise took place March 2-3, allowing members of the three services to demonstrate their capabilities. 

“We conducted a two-day exercise alongside the Air Force and Navy to simulate the repair of a damaged airfield for a BRAT (basic recovery after attack) scenario; which involved a 40-ft crater, small hole repair, aircraft arresting systems, and airfield lighting,” said Marine Corps 1st Lt. Kyle Stackhouse, the Marine Wing Support Squadron 172 combat engineer platoon commander. 

According to Stackhouse, the joint exercise is a great learning and sharing experience because it allows the combat engineers to demonstrate the way they conduct repairs and learn from the procedures used by their sister services.

“Working in a joint environment has meant spending most of my time in the military being able to work hand in hand with other branches, allowing us to explore entirely different ranges of capabilities,” said Marine Corps Warrant Officer Nathan Stuhr, the Marine Wing Support Squadron 172 officer in charge of explosive ordinance disposal. 

The three services worked side by side, trading both conversation and different approaches to the same problems, bolstering the other’s ability to accomplish tasks in any situation, planned or otherwise. 

“It’s all about working together to make sure that everyone is operating with the same goals in mind, so as we go forward in a wartime environment there is an increase in efficiency and mission effectiveness,” said Stuhr. 

According to Stackhouse, working in a multi-service environment was an enriching and enjoyable experience for his platoon and learning from both Air Force and Navy repair techniques was rewarding. 

Editor's note: The original story can be viewed on the Kadena Air Base website.