YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- U.S. Airmen from Yokota Air Base’s 36th Airlift Squadron flew to Komaki Air Base in Japan to visit their Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JADSF) counterparts at the 401st Tactical Airlift Squadron (TAS) to enhance interoperability through an immersion tour.
As airlift focused squadrons, the 401st TAS and 36th AS share similarities in their missions. The 401st conducts humanitarian relief missions, evacuations as well as supports U.S. and Japanese military activities and multinational exercises with their C-130H Hercules and KC-130H Hercules aircraft.
“Visits like this are extremely important,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Yanzhi Zhuo, 36th 374th Airlift Wing, 401st Tactical Airlift Squadron, JADSF, Japan Air Self-Defense Force, Komaki Air Base, C-130HAS C-130J Super Hercules pilot. “We came to Komaki Air Base to keep building strong relationships with our allied partners and continue overcoming barriers.”
Airmen from both the 36th AS and the 401st TAS spent time getting an up-close look at each squadron’s respective aircraft, sharing unique skills and techniques they use in their airlift missions.
“This visit allowed pilots, loadmasters and aircrew from both squadrons to familiarize themselves with each other and the aircraft that each squadron uses,” said Zhuo. “I hope to continue these types of visits and exchange knowledge with our JASDF partners.”
Strengthening capabilities and enhancing Yokota’s military-to-military cooperation with allied partners and nations is vital to deterring aggression and maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific region, and opportunities like this exchange show the U.S. and Japan’s commitment to that mission.