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NEWS | Aug. 31, 2016

Masters of Our Profession: Army Reserve Engagement Team-Japan and JGSDF Reserve Component Discuss Readiness, Capabilities

By Sgt. John Carkeet IV U.S. Army Japan

CAMP ICHIGAYA, Japan – Senior leaders from the U.S. Army Reserve Engagement Team-Japan shared best practices with their Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Reserve Component partners at Camp Ichigaya in Tokyo, Japan, Aug. 29, 2016.

    Col. Luis Pomales, director, ARET-J, conducted a formal presentation for more than 60 JGSDF Reserve Component service members. Pomales provided an overview of the missions and capabilities of the Army Reserve and how they align with the Army’s strategic goals and operational objectives in the Pacific.

    “The U.S. Army and the JGSDF conduct a variety of bilateral operations and training exercises,” said Pomales. “The Army Reserve’s professional manpower add depth and flexibility to these engagements by providing key personnel with the proper training and experience to manage and support them.”

    Pomales also described ARET-J’s recent efforts in demonstrating the Army Reserve’s capabilities through the enhancement U.S. Army Japan’s Drilling Individual Mobilization Augmentee program and the integration of Reserve military police specialists from the 200th Military Police Command with their active duty counterparts at USARJ.

    “ARET-J has helped facilitate USARJ’s needs for planners, medical professionals and military police specialists,” said Pomales. “Thanks to our efforts, the number of Army Reserve Soldiers directly supporting USARJ has increased from 30 in 2007 to nearly 1,000 in 2016.”

    After the briefing, the JGSDF Reserve Component’s senior leaders invited Pomales and his team to a formal dinner hosted by Gen. Toshiya Okabe, chief of staff, JGSDF. The event opened opportunities for many JGSDF service members to speak with Pomales and Sgt. Maj. Bennie Nunnally, senior enlisted advisor, ARET-J, about the Army Reserve’s assets and organization. Many JGSDF Reserve Component service members expressed interest in the Army Reserve’s partnership programs to promote greater cooperation between its Soldiers and their civilian employers.

    “I am impressed that the [U.S.] Army Reserve has many incentives to recruit and keep highly educated Soldiers who have many years’ experience in the civilian workforce,” said Sgt. 1st Class Toshitsuga Kumagaya, a reserve component interpreter serving in the JGSDF Eastern Army. “As a local national employee who works as an interpreter at Yokota Air Base, I see firsthand the benefits of maintaining of highly capable reserve force.”

    Prior to his departure from Camp Ichigaya, Pomales presented his personal ARET-J coin to three JGSDF service members who excelled during this week’s JGSDF Reserve Component symposium that featured a variety of classroom and practical assignments designed to promote esprit de corps between JGSDF’s active duty and reserve component forces.

    “The JGSDF and the U.S. Army share many of their respective best practices,” said Pomales. Tonight’s event demonstrated how the JGSDF’s efforts to develop a ready and capable reserve component aligns with the U.S. Army Reserve’s citizen soldier concept. Our close partnership signifies that we are the masters of our profession.”