KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- Airmen assigned to Kadena Air Base, Japan recently got the opportunity to engage with senior leaders and joined their peers from other Air Force units across U.S. Forces Japan, during a virtual all-call hosted by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ. Brown Jr. and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass, Feb. 8, 2022.
During the call, Brown addressed the evolving security environment in the Indo-Pacific region, and how Air Forces in Japan fit into the global strategy while navigating COVID-19 and still taking into account the precautions that come with the current times.
“We have to really think about the impact and risk we are taking between the INDO-PACOM and how we deter in the Indo-Pacific,” Brown said. “We’ve actually upped our tempo, which I think is the right thing to do, to show the competition that we don't back down from a challenge.”
Brown outlined some of the efforts happening at Headquarters Air Force to enhance the capabilities of allied forces in the Indo-Pacific, while also bettering the lives of Airmen and their families.
One such effort was the recent downsizing of the Air Force Doctrine Document from 100 pages to 16, making it more digestible and easier for Airmen at all levels to understand and execute.
“We tried to purposely make it very concise in order to get to the point of what we try to do and where we need to drive ourselves forward as an Air Force,” Brown said. “Our job here is to write a template, advocate for you, then get out of your way so you can actually make things happen. The key point here is to trust.”
Bass re-emphasized the need for teams to rely on each other at all levels, especially during challenging and turbulent times. Right now happens to be one of those times.
“Back when I came in the Air Force, we really had to be focused on the air, land and sea dominans, which we were very strong in and dominated,” Bass stated. “Fast forward 30 years, we live in a time where it’s no longer good enough to be good in those domains. We have to be strong in air, land, sea, cyber, information and space. And we’re facing a strategic competitor that will not fight a fair fight if it comes to it.”
A sentiment that resonated with Airmen across the theater was the importance of adequate resourcing for Air Force units operating throughout the western pacific in support of regional allies and partners.
“I appreciated Gen. Brown’s candid response on ensuring Pacific units are manned and equipped in the face of a strategic threat,” said Lt. Col. Matthew Taylor, 1st Special Operations Squadron commander. “I have seen the threat rise over three Pacific tours now, and we have to rise to meet it.”
The session wrapped up with the recognition of several outstanding Airmen and a Q&A session where topics such as the future of the Pacific theater, COVID, and ongoing Eastern European events were discussed.
“I really like how they are keeping track of everything we’re worried about, especially in regards to COVID,” said Airman 1st Class Avery Rodriguez, a 18th Equipment Management Squadron aerospace ground equipment apprentice. “I want to say thank you to senior leadership for thinking about us. I know we all work hard, but it’s easier to work harder when we know that our leaders are looking out for us.”
Bass wrapped up the all-call by thanking all those in attendance and those serving in Japan.
“It’s important at this time that you’re serving, that all of us have some foundational understanding of why we serve,” Bass said. “Thank you and please go back and tell your families thanks for the sacrifice and all that they do to ensure that you’re able to do what your nation needs of you.”
Brown expressed a similar sentiment.
“We want to thank you and your families, we really do appreciate the support they give you and what you do,” Brown said. “You don’t work for us, we work for you. Our job is to make your job easier in the best ways we can. My focus is to break down as many barriers as I can to make life easier for you.”
Attendees included the 18th Wing and Special Operations Wing, Kadena Air Base, 374th Airlift Wing, Yokota Air Base, 35th Fighter Wing, Misawa Air Base and remote tenant units throughout Japan.