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NEWS | April 12, 2023

Pacific Air Forces Host US, Japan Civil Engineer Key Leader Engagement Forum

By Tech. Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- Airmen from U.S. Pacific Air Forces and Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) recently participated in a civil engineer-focused discussion featuring key leaders at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.

Participants in the bilateral exchange discussed setting the theater and pre-positioning assets, infrastructure needs, possible construction opportunities, and the review of 5-year plans on capability development.

From the JASDF, Col. Mitsuhiko Shintaku, Air Staff Office (ASO) Civil Engineer Division deputy director, and Col. Koji Mori, Air Defense Command (ADC) Civil Engineer Division chief, along with their action officers Maj. Tomohiro Katsuda, ASO civil engineer, and Maj. Keitaro Toyonaga, ADC civil engineer, focused on what they could do to improve training at home.

“Opportunities to enhance training for our troops is important, and we can’t do that without these key leader engagements,” said Shintaku. “These engagements give us the opportunity to discuss policies and learn from each other as leaders before we take it back to our troops.”

While focusing on knowledge and skillsets that could be brought back and taught to others, one concept that depends heavily on multiple aspects of military civil engineering is ACE.

“Agile Combat Employment is the scheme of maneuver the Air Force is implementing across the globe for contested environments,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Kevin Osborne. “For that, we set the theater and better posture our forces for when we are called upon to respond. We ensure we are ready to defend free and open trade within the Indo Pacific.”

Through this concept, which U.S. Airmen have been exercising in recent years, there have been a lot of lessons learned that is shared with Allies and partners.

“The JASDF also has a basic concept similar to USAF ‘ACE’,” said Shintaku. “We’re doing as much as we can to learn from the U.S. side about their ACE concept. Additionally, when we combine both concepts and other training in the Indo-Pacific region, we are identifying gaps, problems, and issues as the first step.”

PACAF hosts multiple KLEs throughout the year with many Allies and partners to align knowledge and skills for enhanced interoperable capabilities.

“We know America can't go at it alone, so it's by working with our Allies and partners that we ensure readiness,” said Osborne. “The JASDF has been a great partner, and we look forward to continuing our work on bilateral agreements so that we can continue to break down any barriers together.”

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