MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan --
U.S. Air Force Col. William Bernhard, 35th Mission Support Group commander, recently hosted Japan Air Self-Defense Force Col. Kato Fumihiko, 3rd Air Wing vice commander, for a tour of the 35th Fighter Wing’s Unaccompanied Housing campus at Misawa Air Base, Japan.
JASDF leaders at Misawa are in the process of upgrading their living quarters, and the tour was an opportunity for them to gain perspective on the 35th FW’s quality of life standards, room layouts, and management techniques.
“We are stronger together,” said Bernhard. “By sharing what works and doesn’t work with our JASDF partners, we enable them to more quickly create the best conditions possible for their airmen. Then, they are able to better focus on and advance bilateral and joint Japanese defense operations and capabilities.”
Led by the 35th Civil Engineer Squadron Unaccompanied Housing section, the tour consisted of the display of several dormitory layouts for single Airmen, including one room that is intended to be a model for future renovations.
“For a lot of us, our living space is our castle where we unwind and recover from the day,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. William Castro, 35th CES Unaccompanied Housing superintendent. “We aim to make sure our Airmen have a space to do that, and are glad to lend a hand in helping the JASDF do that for their airmen.”
JASDF leaders were able to enter the various rooms, where they were able to ask questions about the furniture and appliance costs, determining the occupants of rooms, shared living spaces, and even concerns about mold prevention.
This tour comes on the heels of the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding International (MOUI) 3010 in February 2021 by U.S. Air Force Col. Jesse Friedel, 35th FW commander, and JASDF Maj. Gen. Takahiro Kubota, 3rd AW commander. MOUI 3010 defined the two militaries’ responsibilities associated with the use, construction, and care of facilities and areas on Misawa AB as well as how they would work together when it came to those facilities and areas.
“It’s an important part of our service members’ morale and mental health to know they can come home to a quality living condition,” said Castro. “If we can share what works, and more importantly what hasn’t worked for us, to speed up the process for our JASDF counterparts to create those living conditions for their people, we are more than happy to work together.”