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Yokota ‘Dirt Boys’ train Japan forces in Kanoya May 17, 2023

KANOYA AIR BASE, Japan--Members of the 374th Civil Engineering Squadron from Yokota Air Base, Japan, traveled to Kanoya Air Base, Japan, to demonstrate a spall repair for Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force civil engineers, May 15. 

Spall repairs are an efficient way to keep airfields serviceable by cutting down and removing damaged parts of concrete slabs and quickly replacing them with new material. 

Prior to the training, JMSDF engineers would remove whole slabs of concrete, even if it was only partially damaged. 

“JMSDF relayed to us that it takes them roughly ten days to do minor repairs on their airfield,” said Master Sgt. Brent Fallon, 5th Air Force readiness branch superintendent. “We came down to teach our version of these repairs, which are normally done within a couple of minutes.” 

Because of the training provided by Yokota’s very own ‘Dirt Boys,’ JMSDF engineers are now able to make improvements to the Kanoya Air Base airfield without closing it for long periods of time, enabling mission continuation.

“The U.S. Air Force way of repairing airfield damage is much more efficient,” said JMSDF Lieutenant Commander Masato Tsuchiyama. “There are close to 30 spots that need to be repaired on our airfield. Implementing this new process will save us a lot of time.” 

The 374th CES engineers completed a spall repair in front of JMSDF engineers who then conducted their own spall repair, with coaching and guidance from their trainers. 

“We operate out of each other’s airfields constantly,” said Fallon. “Teaching our partners what we know will improve their capabilities and aid us in our mission.”  

Tsuchiyama says he hopes to have more opportunities to exchange best practices with the USAF.

“I’m happy the Airmen from Yokota took time to come and teach us,” said Tsuchiyama. “We look forward to having more joint projects like this where we learn from each other.”

Because of the success of this training, the 374th CES has now been specifically requested to tour other JMSDF bases to spread their knowledge of airfield repairs.