Bilateral exercise strengthens USAF, JASDF alliance

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Edward W. Yankus
  • 18th Wing Public Affairs

The 18th Wing teamed up with the Japan Air Self-Defense Force in a week-long bilateral training exercise at Kadena Air Base, Japan.

In a strong demonstration of international cooperation, the United States Air Force (USAF) and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) concluded a week-long joint exercise aimed at enhancing mutual operational capabilities and fostering closer ties between the two nations.

“This was the first time that we hosted JASDF Airmen to this degree, “said  U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Timothy Wiseman, 18th WG/ACE.” One JASDF airman has gone through the Multi-Capable Airmen (MCA) course before, but this course was more tailored towards a group focus. It was the very first event of this year's bilateral defense of Okinawa working group, which is a working group that's designed to work interoperability and integration between the forces that are here on Okinawa, between the Air Force, the Marines and the JASDF and the Army.”

The MCA course combines classroom instruction and applied learning, with a distinct focus on practical application to provide training in operations such as expedient airfield repair, tent assembly, and communications flyaway kit set-up.

During the bilateral exercise, cooperation between Airmen and JASDF members were on full display as both parties worked together to complete the assignments given to them.

“Even though there's a communication barrier, when it comes to hands-on getting after the mission, setting up sites, pushing cargo, the static defense, the different elements that we taught during the course, “said  Master Sgt. Wiseman, 18th WG/ACE.” You could tell that it wasn't just a team of Americans and a team of JASDF. It was everyone working together hand in hand and every element that we went through I saw that teamwork.”