An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | Dec. 27, 2016

U.S. Marines with Marine Attack Squadron 542 Heads Home

By Lance Cpl. Joseph Abrego Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- U.S. Marines with Marine Attack Squadron 542 completed their Aviation Training Relocation (ATR) Program at Chitose Air Base, and headed back to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, Dec. 22, 2016.

The ATR is an effort between the U.S. and Japan governments to increase operational readiness between the U.S. Marine Corps and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force.

It also improves interoperability and reduces noise concerns of aviation training on local communities by disseminating training locations throughout Japan.

“It was a great experience,” said U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Austin K. Weber, operations chief for VMA-542. “We really felt like we were working toward something with being in a different environment and getting the aircraft in and out constantly. There was a lot of cross training for the Marines and a lot of knowledge to be gained from the JASDF.”

While learning from the JASDF, the Marines were also able to show their capabilities and share their familiarity with the AV-8B Harriers and unit operations.

“The Marines have a different structure than we do,” said JASDF Staff Sgt. Tomonori Miura, maintenance controller with the 2nd Air Wing Maintenance Supply Group. “They have a different specialty, and they are very efficient with what they do. They have a different jet so I learned a lot about the Harrier and how the maintenance operations work.”

Miura said it was really easy to make conversation with the Marines. Everyone took time to get to know one another, which helped a lot with the cooperation throughout the ATR and ensured that nothing was overlooked.

The bonds built during the ATR continued after operations were completed, allowing Marines to explore the culture with the JASDF personnel.

“We established really good working relations, and it didn’t just stop there,” said Weber. “A lot of the JASDF personnel were inviting us out, showing us their city and even taking us to Sapporo. It was nice to be able to carry those relations we had past the work day and really get to know and build on our cohesion.”

Weber said they were able to interact with the Japanese and were able to see that even through the language barrier there were ways to communicate and build bonds.

Working through everything with their Japanese allies, VMA-542 worked toward achieving the goals of the ATR and made life-long friends along the way.

“This was a good opportunity to meet Marines,” said Miura. “It was a great experience, and I’ve made memories that I’ll remember for the rest of my life. I’m looking forward to the next chance I get to meet more Marines.”



Commander MARFORPAC Visits Palau
U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. William M. Jurney, commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, presents a gift to Gov. Emais Roberts at the office of the governor in Peleliu Apr. 25. Jurney traveled to Palau to meet with local and military leaders to discuss regional defense partnerships and opportunities. Palau is one of the Compact of Free Association states aligned with the United States, which provides defense, funding, and access to social services. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Samantha Jetzer)
April 26, 2024 - Lt. Gen. William M. Jurney, commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, made an official visit to the Republic of Palau April 24-25, after participating in opening ceremonies for Exercise Balikatan in the Philippines...

Joint Statement of the 14th Defense Trilateral Talks
Graphic intended for use as a placeholder for Statements and Press Releases without accompanying imagery.
April 26, 2024 - Republic of Korea (ROK) Deputy Minister for National Defense Policy Cho Chang-rae, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Ely Ratner, and Japan Director General for Defense Policy Kano Koji...

15th MEU Marines Arrive for Balikatan Embarked on USS Somerset, USS Harpers Ferry
U.S. Marines assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 165 (Reinforced), 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, prepare CH-53E Super Stallions attached to VMM-165 (Rein.), 15th MEU, for flight operations aboard the amphibious transport dock USS Somerset (LPD 25) in the South China Sea April 11, 2024. Somerset and embarked elements of the 15th MEU are conducting routine operations in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations. 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy's largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with allies and partners in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Aidan Hekker)
April 26, 2024 - Marines and Sailors assigned to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, embarked on the amphibious transport dock USS Somerset (LPD 25) and amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49), consolidated in the province of...

MRF-D 24.3 U.S. Marines, Sailors honor Anzac Day in Darwin, Palmerston
U.S. Marine Corps Col. Brian T. Mulvihill, center right, the commanding officer of Marine Rotational Force – Darwin 24.3, and Lt. Col. Scott Stafford, center left, the executive officer of MRF-D-24.3, salute during the 109th commemorative service in honor of Anzac Day at Darwin Cenotaph War Memorial, NT, Australia, April 25, 2024. Anzac Day marks the landings in Gallipoli of Australian and New Zealand Army Corps soldiers in 1915, and commemorates all Australian personnel who served and died in wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations. MRF-D 24.3 Marines and Sailors showed their support to the Australian Defence Force personnel commemorating Anzac Day through dawn services and other commemorative services. Mulvihill is a native of New York. Stafford is a native of Indiana. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Juan Torres)
April 25, 2024 - April 25, 1915, etched into history as the day 140 soldiers of the first wave set sail, their destination: the Gallipoli Peninsula. Among them, only 38 would step onto the shores alive, marking the harrowing beginning of the...

U.S. Army and Philippine Army Conduct Sling Load Operations During Balikatan
U.S. Army Soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, alongside Philippine Army Soldiers from the 7th Service Support Battalion, Army Support Command, and Special Forces Regiment Airborne pose for a group photo following a sling load operations training activity in support of Exercise Balikatan 24 at Fort Magsaysay, Philippines, April 22, 2024. BK 24 is an annual exercise between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the U.S. military designed to strengthen bilateral interoperability, capabilities, trust, and cooperation built over decades of shared experiences. (U.S. Army Photo by Spc. Kai Rodriguez, 28th Public Affairs Detachment
April 25, 2024 - U.S. Army Soldiers with the 25th Infantry Division joined forces with Philippine Army Soldiers assigned to Army Support Command, 7th Infantry Division, and Special Forces Regiment Airborne to conduct Low-Cost Low Altitude...