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Media Visit; Defense News; NHK; Kadena Air Base

Jeff Martin, Defense News video reporter, records a stand-up for a video spot Feb. 12, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Defense News and NHK visited Kadena to showcase the mission and operations at the base for a wider audience, helping to tell the Air Force story on a broader scale. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Greg Erwin)

Media Visit; Defense News; NHK; Kadena Air Base

Members from NHK video tape takeoff b-roll with guidance from Jin Hiya, 18th Wing Public Affairs media relations specialist Feb. 13, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Defense News and NHK visited Kadena to showcase the mission and operations at the base for a wider audience, helping to tell the Air Force story on a broader scale. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Cynthia Belio)

Media Visit; Defense News; NHK; Kadena Air Base

Members from NHK interview U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Gunner Moretz, 718th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron aircraft maintainer Feb. 13, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Defense News and NHK visited Kadena to showcase the mission and operations at the base for a wider audience, helping to tell the Air Force story on a broader scale. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Greg Erwin)

Media Visit; Defense News; NHK; Kadena Air Base

Jeff Martin, Defense News video reporter, and Valerie Insinna, Defense News reporter, set up for a video interview Feb. 14, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Defense News and NHK visited Kadena to showcase the mission and operations at the base for a wider audience, helping to tell the Air Force story on a broader scale. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Greg Erwin)

Media Visit; Defense News; NHK; Kadena Air Base

Jeff Martin, Defense News video reporter, interviews U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Johnny Brown, 18th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Feb. 14, 2018, at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Defense News and NHK visited Kadena to showcase the mission and operations at the base for a wider audience, helping to tell the Air Force story on a broader scale. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Greg Erwin)

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- Media agencies visited Kadena Air Base February 12-14, to learn about Kadena’s mission. Visitors included members from Defense News, based in Washington, D.C., and members from NHK, Japan’s public broadcasting station. 

“With the wide variety of missions and units here, we can show people who don’t normally get to see this what it is like at a busy air base,” said Jeff Martin, Defense News reporter. 

During their visit, the agencies were able to see the 733rd Aircraft Mobility Wing, the 353rd Special Operations Group, the 909th Air Refueling Squadron, the 33rd Rescue Squadron, the 44th Fighter Squadron, and the 67th Aircraft Maintenance Unit.

“Kadena has a very diverse mission set,” said 1st Lt. Katy Blessing, 18th Wing Public Affairs media operations section chief. “We were able to showcase all of these missions to Defense News to show their readers and followers what Kadena is doing to support the Pacific Air Forces, and to support the Air Force in their mission.”

Visits by outside media give an opportunity for a different perspective of the mission at Kadena and allows a better understanding for military families and civilian counterparts. Opening the Air Force world to those outside counterparts, it also allows a stronger partnership going forward for telling the Air Force, and the Kadena story.

“Visits allow us to actually see these missions take place and where they happen, as well as talk face to face with the operators,” Martin said. “We also get a chance to understand things from the Airman’s perspective.”

When telling Kadena’s story, it’s often from one set of eyes – that of the military member themselves. By having an outside source come and tell Kadena’s story however, it allows another benefit that isn’t overly apparent – understanding what someone perceives of the base, our operations, and even the Air Force as a whole.

“Public Affairs can tell the Air Force’s story all day long,” Blessing said. “To have a third-party come in and see what we’re doing and be able to report on that, give a more balanced view in the opinion of a lot of our readers, I think it helps lend us credibility.”

While the purpose of the visit may have been to get footage and stories for our outside counterparts, all parties enjoyed the visit and came away sharing ideas and stories and hoping to have another visit in the future.