KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- U.S. Air Force officers from four different units spent the week at Kadena Air Base, Japan, with nine of their Japan Self-Defense Force (JASDF) counterparts exchanging their best practices and reinforcing lessons learned from previous exchanges.
The main focus of the event was to increase interoperability between the two nations during exercises and potential real world contingencies.
“The purpose of the training is to integrate between the JASDF and the U.S. Air Force (USAF),” said 1st Lt. Linnaea Hance, 44th Fighter Squadron chief of intel. “We’re trying to impart our experience from unit-level support onto them as they work towards building unit-level ISR capabilities into their construct and air force.”
This is the third exchange in less than a year geared towards familiarizing JASDF intelligence officers with squadron-level intelligence practices and techniques.
“If we work together, then it’s easier for the pilots to work together and build tactics and integrate at a higher level.” Hance said.
The first half of the bilateral event was comprised of briefs and discussions about various aspects of our jobs. The second half involved hands-on exercises showing how the USAF conducts unit-level mission planning and briefs. The exercises demonstrated there’s always something to learn from one another.
“It is a good opportunity for honing my job [skills].” said a JASDF attendee, who believes the information they exchanged will be very useful.
During the mission-planning exercise, the JASDF analysts had an opportunity to create and brief a mission plan using the processes shared by their USAF counterparts, followed by a discussion about the differences in how the JASDF and USAF approach the same mission in different ways. A common focus was the importance of providing timely and accurate information to pilots and aircrew.
“Information sharing is about giving everyone a baseline of where to start,” Hance said. “If we can all give the same baseline and all help each other to get to that point, then it builds the partnership from there, and integration will just get that much better.”