5th AF co-hosts Bilateral Senior Cyber Engagement
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Communications leaders representing more than 10 distinct U.S. and Japanese defense organizations recently met at Yokota Air Base to participate in the Bilateral Senior Cyber Engagement hosted by 5th Air Force and Japan Air Self-Defense Force's Air Staff Office.
The event provided a forum for approximately 80 senior communicators from the U.S. Air Force, JASDF and joint community to discuss cyber defense operations, emerging technology, threats and related topics.
Lt. Gen Sam Angelella, commander of U.S. Forces, Japan and 5th Air Force, delivered opening remarks at the conference, addressing the importance of the U.S.-Japan cyber relationship.
"Cyber operations have grown in importance in recent years, and they will only continue to expand in significance as technology develops," Angelella said. "Today, information technology enables almost everything our militaries do, from logistical support to intelligence and command and control of forces."
Angelella said today's cyber threats reinforce the need to continue developing bilateral cyber capabilities.
"It's essential to improve interoperability and expand our networks to enable information sharing and bilateral operations," Angelella said.
Over the course of the two-day symposium, participants discussed the latest efforts in cyber policy and organization, with emphasis placed on identifying ways to improve interoperability and mission assurance of bilateral command and control networks.
"This event will help guide discussions over the course of the year as we continue our bilateral efforts in a number of areas, including placement of liaisons at key locations and increasing the role of cyber operations in U.S.-Japanese exercises," said Lt. Col. Joseph Ewing, deputy director of 5th Air Force Cyberspace Operations.
Representatives from Pacific Air Forces' Directorate of Communications at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, and 24th Air Force, a component of U.S. Cyber Command, participated via video teleconference, providing briefings focused on synchronization of air and cyber operations.
"It's a good opportunity to see how cyber forces are structured from a command and control perspective across a diverse mix of organizations," said Capt. Alex Hortin, 5th Air Force Cyberspace Operations officer. "Between sessions, participants had the chance to engage at the action officer level, too, which is important in building day-to-day working relationships."
Col. Kazuo Tokit, head of JASDF Air Staff Office's Command, Control, Communications, and Computer Systems Division, agreed.
"This event has improved year by year, encouraged by the leadership of 5th Air Force Cyberspace Operations director, Col. Yvette Quitno," Tokit said. "We appreciate the challenges of the cyber domain, and expect the cyber partnership between JASDF and USAF to only become stronger."