Japan Minister of Defense visits Misawa Air Base

  • Published
  • By Maj. Cody Chiles
  • 35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Japan Minister of Defense, Nobuo Kishi, met with Lt. Gen. Kevin Schneider, U.S. Forces Japan and 5th Air Force commander, and Col. Jesse Friedel, the 35th Fighter Wing commander, during a visit at Misawa Air Base on April 3, 2021.  Minister Kishi, Lt. Gen. Schneider and Col. Friedel also had the opportunity to speak with joint U.S. service members and Japan Air Self-Defense Force personnel while at Misawa.

During the visit, Minister of Defense Kishi received briefings about the F-16 Fighting Falcon, and the 35th Fighter Wing’s mission to defend Japan with advanced Suppression of Enemy Air Defense and Destruction of Enemy Air Defense capabilities. Both sides discussed Agile Combat Employment (ACE) training, a new combat employment method based upon unpredictability. These capabilities are critical to maintaining credible deterrence in the region.

The leaders emphasized the importance of U.S. and Japanese bilateral interoperability through realistic, high quality training and operations. They discussed the strategic importance of Misawa Air Base as the premier location for 5th generation aircraft to conduct training in the Area of Responsibility (AOR) for both U.S. and Japanese pilots. They also discussed the necessity of community relations and fitness routines to ensure the Alliance is mentally and physically prepared to uphold its commitment to maintaining peace and security in the region.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Minister of Defense Kishi and Lt. Gen. Schneider discussed how critical joint U.S. and Japan Air Self-Defense Forces at Misawa AB were during Japan’s response to the Great East Japan Earthquake ten years ago. They reaffirmed their commitment to the U.S-Japan Alliance, to ensuring the security of Japan, and to the maintenance of peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region.