Home : Media : News : News Article View

US, Japan Break Barriers, Reinforce Partnership during Exchange

By Airman 1st Class Sadie Colbert | 35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs | Dec. 12, 2016

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- U.S. Air Force and Japan Air Self-Defense Force ( JASDF) service members engaged in a bilateral exchange program (BEP) at Misawa Air Base, Japan, from Nov. 29 to Dec. 9, to increase interoperability and break down language barriers.

Conducted by Fifth Air Force since 1995, this year’s BEP featured eight enlisted and two officers from JASDF bases across northern Japan who integrated with their respective career fields. JASDF participants paired with maintenance officers, avionics specialists and crew chiefs.

“The goal is to strengthen our bilateral partnership and expand interoperability through interaction and hands-on experience,” said Senior Master Sgt. Paul Riley, the 35th Maintenance Squadron armament flight chief. “They also did so without any translation assistance. JASDF members learning in an all-English environment helps them overcome language barriers.”

Riley explained this particular exchange focused on the 35th Maintenance Group (MXG) and was held during a surge, one of the busiest times for Misawa’s MXG personnel.

A surge allows maintenance personnel and pilots to evaluate and validate their capacity to generate aircraft in a simulated deployed environment.

“We’re trying to put as many jets in the air as we can during surges,” said Staff Sgt. Christopher Ransom, a 14th Aircraft Maintenance Unit F-16 Fighting Falcon avionics technician. “It never hurts to have extra bodies helping prepare jets.”

During this time, maintenance personnel and pilots worked 24-hour operations and focused on increasing performance from 46 to 104 sorties over three days, while working with their counterparts.

“Interoperability is highly important,” said Riley. “It builds bilateral relations with our Pacific partners while promoting goodwill between our services as well as our countries.”

Many regional nations share the U.S. Air Force’s goal for cooperation that promotes greater mutual understanding and trust; holding bilateral exchanges enables the Pacific theatre to continue to modernize and strengthen the alliance and partnerships with JASDF.

“It was a good experience,” said Japan Air Self-Defense Force Staff Sgt. Narihito Tanaka, a 3rd Air Wing avionics technician. “I saw the operational differences we had in maintenance, and I was impressed with the USAF maintenance’s organization. I want to use this knowledge in future bilateral exercises in order to execute them more smoothly.”

Riley said future exchanges will look to incorporate other squadrons as Misawa looks forward to expanding interoperability with our JASDF partners through exercises and hands-on training.

Like Us
Follow Us



Commander, Task Force-72 Concludes ANNUALEX 2019 with Japan Maritime Defense Forces
Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Cmdr. Kentaro Sakabe, executive officer of the Akizuki-class destroyer JS Suzutsuki (DD 117), top right, and JMSDF Petty Officer 1st Class Takafumi Nakamura, assigned to the Asahi-class destroyer JS Asahi (DD 119), center, observe operations during an anti-submarine warfare exercise in the sonar control room aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Milius (DDG 69) during Annual Exercise (ANNUALEX) 19. Milius is participating in ANNUALEX 19, a bilateral exercise which further develops coordination and interoperability of the premier alliance between the U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.
Nov. 22, 2019 - KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- Commander, Task Force (CTF) 72 and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force

599th Transportation Brigade Facilitates Unit Equipment
A ship's crane on the USNS Mendonca offloads a Chinook helicopter during port operations at Pearl Harbor on Nov. 13, 2019.
Nov. 22, 2019 - PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii -- The 599th Transportation Brigade partnered with multi-service elements here

Anytime, Anywhere: Gryphon Pacific 20-1 Challenges Special Operators
Aircrew assigned to the 17th Special Operations Squadron, 353rd Special Operations Group, Kadena Air Base, Japan, fly an MC-130J Commando II over the Pacific Ocean during Exercise Gryphon Pacific 20-1, Nov. 15, 2019. Launching from Guam, two MC-130J Commando II aircraft with Global Access Special Tactics teams onboard rapidly established and controlled landing zones capable of facilitating additional forces at both Wake Island and Kwajalein Atoll in the same night. These special operations missions demonstrate the 353rd SOG’s ability to deploy forces anytime, anyplace throughout the Pacific.
Nov. 22, 2019 - KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- Editor's note: Due to operations security, Airmen are not fully identified

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Partners to Battle Malnutrition in Laos
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has completed phase one and two construction of the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), officially turning over major portions of the 4.9 million dollar medical and educational facility to Lao Ministry of Health leads in a ribbon cutting ceremony today, Nov, 14, 2019. Pictured, Pacific Ocean Division Commanding General, Brig. Gen. Thomas Tickner (center) stands in front of the newly unveiled facility, standing alongside a senior Lao Ministry of Health official, whole holding a token of appreciation. To the right, U.S. Embassy in Laos Deputy Chief of Mission, Colin Crosby, poses with the group. The five-acre multi-purpose campus, includes collaboration with USACE, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM), U.S. Agency for International Development, the Oregon Health and Science University, as well as with the Lao Ministry of Health, who maintains operation and maintenance of the facility. This is the largest Humanitarian Assistance construction joint effort funded by U.S. INDOPACOM.
Nov. 22, 2019 - VIENTIANE, Laos -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has completed phase one and two

In-Service Recruiter Helps Authenticate Dreams
Master Sgt. Lissy Singleton, Pacific Air Forces in-service recruiter, supports all Airmen assigned to Kunsan and Osan Air Bases in the Republic of Korea. Singleton recruits and assists separating Active-Duty members and informs them of the Air Force Reserve’s benefits.
Nov. 22, 2019 - OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Deciding your next phase in life can be a difficult decision to