Hawaii-based Coast Guard air crew participates in Japan Coast Guard Sea Review

by Petty Officer 3rd Class Angela Henderson

HONOLULU – U.S. Coast Guard air crew members from Air Station Barbers Point here joined the Japan Coast Guard in a sea review and comprehensive drill in Tokyo Bay Sunday — a first for Coast Guard aviation.

A crew of seven Air Station Barbers Point air crew members flew a C-130 Hercules long-range surveillance aircraft more than 14 hours and 1,800 miles to participate in the opening portion of the sea review. The C-130 was the last to fly after 40 patrol vessels and18 Japan Coast Guard aircraft.

“We would like to thank the U.S. Coast Guard for flying so many miles to participate in the Japan Coast Guard Sea Review,” said Rear Adm. Haruhisa Yamaguchi, commanding officer of the Japan Coast Guard Air Station 3rd Region. “We look forward to a long-lasting friendship with our co-partners of the sea.”

The C-130 was the only foreign-based crew to participate in the review. The review provided an opportunity to learn more about the Japan Coast Guard’s missions.

“We customarily invite our foreign partners to the important events in order to show the ability of cooperation and deepen our mutual understanding and friendship,” said Teiji Iwasaki, commandant of the Japan Coast Guard. “Considering the current circumstances regarding the increased concern for maritime security, as well as the long history of cooperation between Japan and the U.S., it is my great pleasure to have the U.S. Coast Guard participate in this year’s event.”

The demonstration included an out-to-sea firefighting capabilities exercise, a rescue swimmer drop-and-save drill, a rescue and maritime disaster prevention drill, and a pursuit and capture of a smuggling ship.

“It was great that we got to participate in an event that 900 people were invited to watch,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Ronald Williams, a C-130 aviation maintenance technician from Air Station Barbers Point. “I’ve never been in an event where every asset from that branch is displayed and its abilities shown.”

The air crew had one briefing and two dress rehearsals to make sure they were ready for the review. They also invited Japan Coast Guard members aboard the aircraft during the practice flights.

“Despite all language barriers, participating in this event is a great way to uphold international relationships,” said Lt. Cmdr. Brust Roethler, a C-130 pilot from Air Station Barbers Point. “Even though there are many differences between us, we share common missions that we all can relate to.”

The U.S. Coast Guard’s Fourteenth District spans a range of 12.2 million square miles. The C-130 search planes fly many hours over Pacific waters enforcing maritime laws and aiding mariners in distress.

Editors Note: For those readers who may be wondering, after double checking, the agency is called the Japan Coast Guard, not Japanese Coast Guard.

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