NEWS | Oct. 8, 2021

U.S. Forces Japan, 5th Air Force Leadership Visits Misawa

By Staff Sgt. Kayla Palmer 35th Fighter Wing

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Ricky Rupp, U.S. Forces Japan (USFJ) and 5th Air Force commander, and Command Chief Master Sgt. Wendell Snider, USFJ senior enlisted leader, visited Misawa Air Base, Japan, to experience the 35th Fighter Wings mission while meeting members of Team Misawa, Oct. 7 - 8, 2021.

During their visit, Rupp and Snider toured multiple facilities to learn about how each unit’s mission tied into USFJ and 5th Air Force’s mission to support the U.S.-Japan alliance, and defend Japan.

“I was impressed by the professionalism and dedication of the Airmen I saw today,” said Rupp. “Misawa Air Base plays a critical role as a credible deterrent, ready to respond at a moment’s notice to any threat, crisis or humanitarian disaster, enabling U.S. Forces in Japan to remain the cornerstone of stability and security in the Indo-Pacific region.”

The locations toured included the 35th Maintenance Group, 35th Medical Group, 35th Fighter Wing Headquarters, 35th Force Support Squadron, and Edgren Middle/High School.

During the visit, Rupp learned about the 35th Fighter Wing’s mission to protect United States interests in the Pacific and defend Japan; deter adversaries through our presence, readiness and ability to project agile combat air power.

In direct support of the overarching mission, leaders spoke with the 35th Civil Engineer Squadrons snow removal team. The team must plow Misawa AB, the snowiest U.S. air base, every winter; and this task required extra dedication during record breaking snowfall at Misawa AB in December 2020. Round the clock snow removal ensures mission success by allowing Team Misawa to arrive to work and launch combat ready aircraft throughout the winter season.

“The capability of the 35th Civil Engineer Squadron and what our Airmen must do daily to keep the mission going is remarkable,” said Snider. “I think it shows the technical expertise of the Airmen. They were able to show me the equipment and get me to be able to operate it during my visit.”

Rupp and Snider also observed year-round Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs that encourage Airmen and their families to take on the role of Ambassador and engage in outside activities, allowing Team Misawa to build a resilient community.

By the end of their visit, Rupp and Snider had a greater understanding of the various missions across Misawa AB.

“Misawa’s actions continue to push the evolution of the US-Japan alliance to stay ahead of growing regional threats,” said Rupp. “I’m humbled to be serving with this top-notch team.”

In agreement with Rupp, Snider said, “One thing I'm left with is that our warfighters are good at what they do.”