An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | Dec. 12, 2022

U.S. Air Force Officer Builds Trust with Partner Nation Aircrew during Operation Christmas Drop

By Yasuo Osakabe 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- The U.S. Air Force organizes and trains select Air Force officers to be language-enabled, culturally aware, and operationally relevant experts. U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Lucas Crouch, Japan Self-Defense Force (JASDF) exchange officer, has worked as a special liaison between U.S. and Japanese air forces during Operation Christmas Drop (OCD), the DoD’s longest-running humanitarian airlift mission based at Andersen AFB, Guam.

As a Japanese speaker, interpreter and liaison, Crouch has been a key resource in facilitating operations during Operation Christmas Drop’s 71st iteration this year, providing a valuable connection between two participating nations.

“I am humbled to serve in this role as a link between U.S. and Japanese participants during Operation Christmas Drop,” said Crouch. “I think this event is a great opportunity to improve interoperability because even though we may speak different languages, we are using common terminology together.”

During one day of OCD operations, Crouch supported Japanese crewmembers from the JASDF’s 401st Tactical Airlift Squadron, Komaki Air Base, Japan. Crouch accompanied a C-130H Hercules crew whose aircraft lifted off from Andersen AFB and delivered humanitarian aid to island communities in the south eastern Pacific.

During the flight, Crouch was offered the privilege to fly the JASDF aircraft. Using his flying experience and cultural skills, Crouch was able to advise and mentor Japan Air Self-Defense Force pilot, 2nd Lt. Senichiro Kawakami, who was once once a student of Crouch.

“I am always comfortable flying with Lt. Col. Crouch,” said Kawakami. “This is first time I have participated in OCD, and Lt. Col. Crouch provided some of the support I needed as a new co-pilot. We have always appreciated what he provides and we are happy to have him flying with us and providing the necessary support.”

Crouch emphasizes that OCD 2022 is a great opportunity to work with the JASDF while meeting a critical mission.

“This is how Operation Christmas Drop 2022 shows interoperability between Japan and the U.S.,” said Crouch. “It’s a great mission because we are training for future humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations while being able to help people and working closely with our partners.”

Since 2018, Crouch has worked closely with Japanese aircrew as a JASDF exchange officer. This is his eighth time participating in Operation Christmas Drop. His first OCD was in 2006, when he was a brand-new co-pilot assigned to the 36th Airlift Squadron, Yokota Air Base, Japan, the unit that continues to lead operations for Operation Christmas Drop.

Crouch is happy to be a part of OCD 2022, and says he continues to look forward to this event both based on his prior experiences participating and his current role seeing Japanese forces up close.

“OCD is not a new concept for the JASDF anymore,” said Crouch. “The Japanese can act as a force multiplier for this mission and others, and I continue to enjoy working with them, especially for missions like this.”

CONNECT WITH USINDOPACOM
Facebook

Like Us
Twitter
338,139
Follow Us

ENGAGE & CONNECT MORE WITH PACOM

                                                 

IN THE USINDOPACOM NEWS
Austin Notes Progress on Development of Australia's Nuclear-Powered Sub
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, and Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Richard Marles pose for a photo during a bilateral exchange at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., Feb 3, 2023. (DoD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Alexander Kubitza)
Feb. 7, 2023 - The U.S. and Australia signaled their continued commitment to AUKUS, which is the trilateral security pact among Australia, the United Kingdom and the U.S., formed in 2021, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said...

AFRIMS attend Royal Thai Army anniversary celebration
Maj. Taylor Whitten, Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, executive officer and Royal Thai Army Surgeon General Wuticha Isara hold a hat with the letters 123 inscribed on it to celebrate the RTA Medical Department's 123rd Anniversary Ceremony, Jan. 9. The celebration brought together 225 attendees and professionals in military medicine from around the local region representing RTA, RTAMED, Royal Thai Navy, Royal Thai Police, private industry, government, and academia. Representatives from AFRIMS were invited to join the ceremony as the only foreign military presence. (Courtesy photo)
Feb. 6, 2023 - Members from the U.S Army Medical Directorate- Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences attended the Royal Thai Army Medical Department 123rd Anniversary Ceremony, Jan. 9. The celebration brought together 225...

Ceremony commemorates 72 years since Battle of Hill 180
A statue of Capt. Lewis Millet sits near the memorial site of the Battle of Hill 180 on Osan Air Base, South Korea. The base held its annual Battle of Hill 180 ceremony Feb. 2, 2023.
Feb. 6, 2023 - In honor of the nine Soldiers who perished during the battle, Osan Air Base hosts an annual Battle of Hill 180 ceremony. This year's commemoration was held Feb. 2. Attendees payed their respects with the laying of wreaths and...

Guided-Missile Cruiser USS Shiloh Concludes 10-Day Surface Warfare Advanced Technical Training (SWATT) in the Philippine Sea
PHILIPPINE SEA (Jan. 23, 2023) The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67) fires a standard missile during a live-fire exercise in the Philippine Sea, Jan. 23, 2023. Shiloh is forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Santiago Navarro)
Feb. 6, 2023 - The exercises tested Shiloh’s, proficiency in combat capability, lethality, as well as interoperability with other nations.Shiloh participated alongside other units including USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115), USS Chancellorsville...

U.S. Indo-Pacific Commander Strengthens Cooperation in Visit to Timor-Leste
U.S. Indo-Pacific Commander Strengthens Cooperation in Visit to Timor-Leste
Feb. 3, 2023 - Adm. John C. Aquilino, Commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, visited Timor-Leste Feb. 1-3, to strengthen our security cooperation and enduring partnership between our countries.In meetings with President José Ramos-Horta,...