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Japanese students get glimpse of military life

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: August 5, 2016

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — The Air Force took on a group of young recruits in Japan — at least for an afternoon.

Around 30 students at a Japanese middle school in Musashimurayama, a town that borders Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo, took part in a mini boot camp last month hosted by members of the base’s 374th Medical Group.

The event, part of an annual school festival that includes a career day, was designed to give Japanese students a glimpse into the lives of their American military neighbors, an Air Force statement said. The drills taught facing movements, marching in formation and other boot camp skills.

“This is the only program I know that allows for military to interact with local students,” said Staff Sgt. Gervon Hamilton, one of the volunteers.

The boot camp also allowed students to practice their English. Hina Yamaguchi said she and her classmates were nervous to use English around the airmen, but were able to understand the commands and became more comfortable as they progressed through the drills.

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