YAMADA SUB BASE, Japan -- Airmen with the 35th Fighter Wing visited with their Japanese counterparts from the 37th Surveillance Squadron during a bilateral exchange program, at Japan Air Self-Defense Force Yamada Sub Base, Yamada Town, Japan, Oct. 17 to 26.
“Events like the BEP keeps the U.S. and Japan bonds tight and unbreakable,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Scott Layne, the 35th Fighter Wing BEP lead coordinator. “Promoting a mutual understanding of JASDF and U.S. capabilities among service members is crucial to our relationship. We accomplish this through closely integrating with Japanese personnel, spending quality time on and off-duty, ensuring all members rely on each other to better function as one cohesive unit.”
The event brought Airmen together from various career fields to learn about the JASDF squadron’s mission, which is to detect and notify ally forces to respond to unknown or enemy aircraft.
“Their mission is very effective because their detection and notification, along with the response process, can be executed in minutes,” explained U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Hannah Tatum, a 35th Communications Squadron radio frequency transmission systems technician. “I learned how combining our mission with theirs contributes to the big picture of keeping peace and balance in the Indo-Pacific region.”
Not only did U.S. members practice their Japanese to overcome language barriers, but JASDF personnel put in extra effort to ensure they gave all briefings in English. A skill members like JASDF Senior Airman Saki, a 37th SS radar maintenance technician, value.
“Both JASDF and U.S. Air Force members agree, taking down communication barriers and understanding cultural differences strengthens everyone’s mission effectiveness,” said Saki. “We continue to move forward with strengthening each other to ensure regional security in the Pacific.”