U.S., Japan senior enlisted leaders exchange ideas in Alaska
By Airman Eric M. Fisher, 354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 27, 2017
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.