Subscribe
A Shinto priest performs a ritual during a ceremony at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Nov. 25, 2015. The ceremony featured formal prayers and an offering of food and drink to the Shinto gods on behalf of a new fire engine.

A Shinto priest performs a ritual during a ceremony at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Nov. 25, 2015. The ceremony featured formal prayers and an offering of food and drink to the Shinto gods on behalf of a new fire engine. (Delano Scott Jr./U.S. Air Force)

A Shinto priest performs a ritual during a ceremony at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Nov. 25, 2015. The ceremony featured formal prayers and an offering of food and drink to the Shinto gods on behalf of a new fire engine.

A Shinto priest performs a ritual during a ceremony at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Nov. 25, 2015. The ceremony featured formal prayers and an offering of food and drink to the Shinto gods on behalf of a new fire engine. (Delano Scott Jr./U.S. Air Force)

Col. Scott Maskery, 374th Mission Support Group commander, offers prayers during a blessing-of-the-fleet ceremony at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Nov. 25, 2015. The blessing was followed by a push-in ceremony, during which Yokota firefighters pushed the new engine into the firehouse by hand.

Col. Scott Maskery, 374th Mission Support Group commander, offers prayers during a blessing-of-the-fleet ceremony at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Nov. 25, 2015. The blessing was followed by a push-in ceremony, during which Yokota firefighters pushed the new engine into the firehouse by hand. (Delano Scott Jr./U.S. Air Force)

Shinto priests provide a formal reading of prayer during a ceremony at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Nov. 25, 2015. The priests, in addition to a chaplain, led the ceremony in which deities were asked to protect the firefighters and their equipment as they begin using a new fire engine.

Shinto priests provide a formal reading of prayer during a ceremony at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Nov. 25, 2015. The priests, in addition to a chaplain, led the ceremony in which deities were asked to protect the firefighters and their equipment as they begin using a new fire engine. (Delano Scott Jr./U.S. Air Force)

Maj. Oscar Fonseca, 374th Airlift Wing chaplain, offers prayers during a ceremony for a new fire engine at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Nov. 25, 2015. Fonseca spoke about the importance of being spiritually protected as it can enable firefighters to carry out their job more effectively.

Maj. Oscar Fonseca, 374th Airlift Wing chaplain, offers prayers during a ceremony for a new fire engine at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Nov. 25, 2015. Fonseca spoke about the importance of being spiritually protected as it can enable firefighters to carry out their job more effectively. (Delano Scott Jr./U.S. Air Force)

Firefighters with the 374th Civil Engineer Squadron push fire engine 14 into the main firehouse at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Nov. 25, 2015. Yokota firefighters pushed the truck by hand to conclude a blessing and dedication ceremony for the new vehicle.

Firefighters with the 374th Civil Engineer Squadron push fire engine 14 into the main firehouse at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Nov. 25, 2015. Yokota firefighters pushed the truck by hand to conclude a blessing and dedication ceremony for the new vehicle. (Delano Scott Jr./U.S. Air Force)

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Japanese Shinto priests joined forces with an Air Force chaplain last week to bless the newest addition to Yokota’s firefighting fleet in western Tokyo.

The Nov. 25 ceremony at the main firehouse featured formal prayers and an offering of food and drink to the Shinto gods on behalf of a new fire engine, an Air Force statement said. Shinto, the ethnic faith of Japan, is one of the country’s major religions, along with Buddhism.

The ceremony is less about the truck itself and more about the lives and property firefighters will save when using it, Lt. Col David McCleese, 374th Civil Engineer Squadron commander, said in the statement. “It’s about making sure our guys come home safely after a call.”

Airman 1st Class Thomas Smith, a 374th CES firefighter, said he is thankful for the prayers.

“I feel that any blessing that you receive, regardless of religion, is a good thing,” he said. “Just knowing that people care and are willing to take the time to come out here to try and make your job safer by blessing the truck is a gift.”

news@stripes.com

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up