NEWS | Jan. 22, 2019

Air Force Special Operations Command Leaders Visit the Pacific

By 1st Lt. Renee Douglas 353rd Special Operations Group Public Affairs

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- Maj. Gen. Vince Becklund, deputy commander of Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), visited the 353rd Special Operations Group (SOG) Jan. 9-11 for a closer look at the special operations mission in the Pacific.

The visit provided an opportunity for AFSOC leadership to interact with Airmen, receive mission briefs and gain perspective on key issues across the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command area of responsibility.

Maj. Gen. James Scanlan, mobilization assistant to the commander of AFSOC, and Ken Roy, AFSOC political advisor, accompanied Becklund for the visit.

They first stopped at Yokota Air Base, Japan, to visit the 353rd SOG Detachment 1, where the recently assigned CV-22 Osprey are settling into their new home. The group saw where the detachment is working and where the CV-22s are being kept and maintained.

After visiting Yokota, the group moved on to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan. There, they received an update on current operations and the rest of the squadrons assigned to the 353rd SOG. Before departing Kadena, Becklund gathered the 353rd SOG to award 48 Humanitarian Service Medals to members of the 353rd SOG involved in the Tham Luang Cave Rescue.

“The 353rd is strategically placed and has a vital role to play in keeping a free and open Pacific,” said Becklund. “Make no mistake; you are out here for a reason.”