MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan — After years of coordination between the Japanese Coast Guard and Marine security forces, the Provost Marshal’s Office called upon a specialist to one day lead an operation of naval security expansion to enhance anti-terrorism efforts and joint operations.
Between the year 2012 and 2014, the air station is expected to see an influx of military personnel as the base expands, creating a demand for additional personnel to provide security.
Among the new personnel will be Navy force protection experts working under one man. One man will take charge. One man has been called upon to lead the way.
Petty Officer 1st Class Dwayne T. Jones, the first master at arms sailor to be permanently assigned to a Marine Corps PMO specifically for port and harbor security, has come to Iwakuni to apply the knowledge and skills needed to set up the foundation for naval seaward security operations.
“He is going to be the seed,” said Maj. Giuseppe A. Stavale, station provost marshal. “He is the start of our first port and harbor security division of PMO.”
Navy masters at arms specialize in conducting waterborne security patrols, operations, law enforcement and training others to take on the tasks needed to enforce regulation.
“It’s one of our specialty rates,” said Jones. “When assets come in, there are certain procedures we have to do to ensure the safety of the base as well as the vessels.”
Stavale is confident Jones is the man for the job.
“He’s able to get those young guys and say, look, this is what I need you to do,” said Stavale. “And I have somebody who is an expert at doing that. We’re just getting that much better with him here to provide port and harbor security for this installation.”
Jones is also a specialist in conducting security operations in support of joint service operations.
“I’ve learned to work hand in hand with the Japanese Coast Guard,” said Jones. “We’re pretty much like a team. Any ideas I have as far as security for the harbor, I have to coordinate through them and we have meetings to agree upon procedures.”
“He will maintain liaison with the Japanese Coast Guard and the Iwakuni police department,” said Stavale. “With all the cooperation and with all the local government being well coordinated through him, we’ll have a tight operation.”
Being the new guy on base and the only one of his kind in a unit of Marines, Jones shows determination to overcome the challenges ahead.
“Of course, in the Navy we do things a little bit differently,” said Jones. “Right now it’s just a challenge to adapt to the Marine Corps way of life and how they operate. For the most part, it’s similar but different at the same time.”
Masters at arms are trained to be professionals to adapt and lead in any work environment. What Jones brings to the table is 17 years of naval experience.
“I have Navy-wide guidance on how the security of the harbor should be run,” said Jones. “My plan is to dig deep into those publications very hard and adapt the Navy’s perspective on harbor operation and detail it to Iwakuni. We’re working together as a unit to put all our resources together to see which ones will best
fit the situation.”
Even with the challenges Jones will face, he shows optimism and dedication to carry out the mission.
“I would hope that once everything is implemented and everything is in place, there would be more Navy and Marine Corps personnel working together and getting the job done,” said Jones. “Showing the world Marines, Navy and all other services can work together in a unified way to make things happen. To outsiders looking in, it’s a greater show of force.”