Yokota supports Iwakuni Air Show
By Senior Airman David Owsianka, 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published May 11, 2016
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan --
Members of Yokota Air Base, Japan, supported the Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni Friendship Day Air Show, May 5. Yokota provided a C-12 Huron and UH-1N Huey as static displays for the event.
Since 1973, MCAS Iwakuni has conducted a single-day air show and open house specifically designed to foster positive relationships between the air station and Japan. The stationed opened its gates to approximately 175,000 guests for the 40th anniversary of the event.
"It was great being able to support our sister service and spend time with Japanese people," said U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Vincente Vasquez, 459th Airlift Squadron scheduling officer. "Providing aircraft for this event allowed us to show Japanese people more of what we have to offer and this helps us strengthen our bonds as allies."
The annual event showcases a variety of static displays, aviation performances and demonstrations, and provides food and entertainment for guests of the largest single-day event in Iwakuni.
Some performances included the Pemberton Aerosports Squirrel-Suit Jump; Whiskey Papa Skywriting, flight design where a Ferrari car challenges Yoshi Muroya, the air racer, to an air-ground race; the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute team; and demonstrations from an AV-8B Harrier, MV-22B Osprey, the Marine Air-Ground Task Force and Pacific Air Forces' F-16 demonstration team.
The air show also provided guests the opportunity to observe ground combat element capabilities within Marine Wing Support Squadron 171's heavy and utilities equipment, Expeditionary Field Kitchen and a wide variety of military vehicles. Marine tactical units from Okinawa, Japan, also shared their proficiencies in tactics on the ground.
"It was great being able to visit the base for this event," said Naoko Ito, Friendship Day Air Show spectator. "My favorite part was seeing the aerial demonstrations and interacting with the service members throughout the day."
The event offered a culturally enriching experience that displayed the mutual support that the U.S. and Japan share.
"Friendship Day is MCAS Iwakuni's largest annual community outreach event, and it extends beyond the local and regional area," said U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Robert E. Carlson, air show coordinator and station operations officer. "This year is even more significant due to it being the 40th anniversary event and being an opportunity for people to show their support and encouragement to those impacted by the earthquakes in Kyushu."