NEWS | May 19, 2018

COMPACAF: “There’s no place like Misawa”

By Tech. Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton 35th Fighter Wing

U.S. Air Force Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) commander, visited Misawa Air Base, Japan, May 10 and 11, to highlight the strategic importance of the region and longstanding regional partnerships, the great strides PACAF has made, and the contributions of Misawa Airmen and their vital role to regional security and stability.

“The mission you’re doing here is so important,” he said during a commander’s call for Misawa’s Airmen. “Our diplomats are successful because of the work you do. They can negotiate from a position of strength; that is something you have been a part of and should be proud of.”

O’Shaughnessy added that PACAF’s strength comes from its Airmen, “our asymmetric advantage.”

“We ask a lot of you, and you always deliver. You are the experts, and I’m asking for your help,” O’Shaughnessy said, emphasizing the need, “to continue pursuing readiness and innovation.”

While here, O’Shaughnessy also met with Misawa City Mayor, and close friend, Kazumasa Taneichi. O’Shaughnessy reassured him of PACAF’s commitment to Misawa, recalling his time as Misawa’s commander in 2007 and 2008 and the ‘two cultures—one community’ approach to life in Misawa, which continues today.

Col. R. Scott Jobe, the 35th FW’s current commander, added during the meeting that while the wing’s primary mission is flying jets and taking care of its Airmen, they also have a unique opportunity here to build close partnerships with their host nation partners.

“This is also a critical mission to our ongoing community engagement efforts and it takes each and every one of us to make a difference,” Jobe said. “Sharing cultures and customs gives us an opportunity to learn more about each other and build partnerships with our Japanese allies and friends.”

Echoing Jobe, O’Shaughnessy said strengthening the command’s alliances and partnerships is a strategic priority in the most consequential region to the United States. PACAF’s goal is to facilitate enhanced security cooperation and interoperability.

Americans and Japanese serve side-by-side on base and in the community and continue to develop innovative ways to bridge the communications gap, embracing the city and base’s approach to community engagement, “Co-existence and Co-prosperity.”

“There is no place like Misawa,” O’Shaughnessy said as he addressed the Airmen at Misawa. “There’s no other place in this command so supportive of the base—take full advantage of that and enjoy your time here.”

In closing, O’Shaughnessy said our nation’s greatest enduring strength is the creativity and talent of the American warfighter.

“Thank you for what you’re doing and for what you’ve yet to do,” O’Shaughnessy said. “Be bold, be innovative; this is a historical moment in time, and you are a part of that.”