Cultivating Bonds Published July 5, 2023 By Senior Airman Antwain Hanks 35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- On June 23, 2023, Mr. Shingo Mimura, Governor of Aomori Prefecture and 35th Fighter Wing honorary commander, was welcomed to Misawa Air Base by 35th Fighter Wing and 3rd Air Wing leadership, marking his 20th year of service as governor. The Honorary Commander Program, which connects local community leaders with wing leadership, aims to enhance stakeholders’ understanding of the 35th Fighter Wing mission, while strengthening relationships with the local community. “The program is symbolic of the relationship between our on-base and off-base communities,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Richard, 35th Fighter Wing commander. “This visit exemplifies that despite being two separate cultures, we are one community.” The program appoints a prominent figure within the local community who has various experiences. It allows them to immerse themselves in the unit, developing a better grasp of the team at the 35th Fighter Wing and all those who play a role in the mission. “Col. Richard and everyone at Misawa Air Base has always strived to maintain harmony with the people of Misawa and the residents around the base and valued exchanges with the local community,” said Governor Mimura. The Honorary Commander Program serves as a communication channel between local and base leadership, allowing us to continue growing our relationships and ensuring they are always respected and nurtured. “We have built a friendly relationship between the U.S. military and Aomori Prefecture as good neighbors and must strive to continue to build this relationship,” expressed by Gov. Mimura.