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U.S., Japan senior enlisted leaders exchange ideas in Alaska

U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Franklin Perez, the Airman Leadership School (ALS) Commandant, speaks to Warrant Officer Katsumi Yamazaki, the Japan Air Self Defense Force senior enlisted advisor, about ALS, June 23, 2017, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. During Yamazaki’s tour, he visited ALS and the First Term Airmen Center where he learned how the Air Force grooms Airmen into non-commissioned officers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Isaac Johnson)

U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Franklin Perez, the Airman Leadership School (ALS) Commandant, speaks to Warrant Officer Katsumi Yamazaki, the Japan Air Self Defense Force senior enlisted advisor, about ALS, June 23, 2017, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. During Yamazaki’s tour, he visited ALS and the First Term Airmen Center where he learned how the Air Force grooms Airmen into non-commissioned officers. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Isaac Johnson)

Warrant Office Katsumi Yamakazi, the Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) senior enlisted advisor, fires an M240 machine gun with guidance from U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Tommy Nelson, the 354th Security Forces Squadron non-commissioned officer in charge of combat arms, June 23, 2017, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Yamazaki will soon retire after serving in the JASDF for more than 34 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Isaac Johnson)

Warrant Office Katsumi Yamakazi, the Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) senior enlisted advisor, fires an M240 machine gun with guidance from U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Tommy Nelson, the 354th Security Forces Squadron non-commissioned officer in charge of combat arms at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, June 23, 2017. Visits like this showcase the commitment of the U.S. for continued development of partnerships with nations in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Isaac Johnson)

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Terrence Greene, the fifth Air Force command chief, and Warrant Officer Katsumi Yamazaki, the senior enlisted advisor of the Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF), look through JASDF KC-767 goggles, June 23, 2017, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. The JASDF KC-767 boom operators control the boom from a seat behind the cockpit. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Isaac Johnson)

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Terrence Greene, the 5th Air Force command chief, and Warrant Officer Katsumi Yamazaki, the senior enlisted advisor of the Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF), look through JASDF KC-767 goggles at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, June 23, 2017. Visits like this showcase the commitment of the U.S. for continued development of partnerships with nations in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Isaac Johnson)

Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) Warrant Officer Katsumi Yamazaki, the senior enlisted advisor for the JASDF, looks at portraits of former Chief Master Sergeants of the U.S. Air Force, June 23, 2017, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Yamazaki is the fifth senior enlisted advisor for the JASDF. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Isaac Johnson)

Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) Warrant Officer Katsumi Yamazaki, the senior enlisted advisor for the JASDF, looks at portraits of former Chief Master Sergeants of the U.S. Air Force at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, June 23, 2017. Yamazaki is the fifth senior enlisted advisor for the JASDF. Visits like this showcase the commitment of the U.S. for continued development of partnerships with nations in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Isaac Johnson)

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska --

Japanese Air Self-Defense Force senior enlisted advisors met with U.S. Air Force leaders here, June 21-24 to learn about base operations, and exchange both military and cultural ideas with their American counterparts.

During their visit, Warrant Officer Katsumi Yamazaki and Warrant Officer Masahiro Yokota, JASDF senior enlisted advisors, were briefed on Red Flag-Alaska, U.S. Air Force professional development courses, Arctic Survival School, and Combat Arms Training.

“Whenever you bring two units together from different countries there’s always different maintenance and communication techniques,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Chet Reed, the 354th Combat Training Squadron superintendent. “There are always new things that can be learned from operating together.”

Showcasing these pivotal Air Force programs opens up a window for both JASDF and USAF Airmen to learn from one another in hopes of improving the operational capabilities of both forces.

“The JASDF senior enlisted leader visit serves many purposes for both the USAF and JASDF because it grants the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for each other’s operability and how we conduct and project air power,” said U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Brent Sheehan, the 354th Fighter Wing command chief. “It allows both of us to better comprehend the challenges faced by our forces and gives us time to share our strategies for overcoming those barriers.”

Learning and sharing knowledge wasn’t the only purpose for Yamazaki’s visit, while here he shared Japanese culture and experienced Alaskan culture in return.

“An important factor for these exercises is understanding the other nations’ cultures and part of the exercise is how to work with those cultures,” said Yamazaki. “If something were to happen we need to be able to understand each other. In today’s warfare, you’re unable to win a war alone. You must learn to fight as joint partners and leverage each other’s strengths when facing adversaries.”

Visits like this showcase the commitment of the U.S. for continued development of partnerships with nations in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.