Aircrews build partnership, understanding at Yokota
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- A Japan Air Self-Defense Force aircrew from Komaki Air Base, Japan, visited various squadrons in the 374th Airlift Wing to share their experiences with Airmen and learn from one another.
During the visit, the JASDF aircrew tagged alongside their U.S. aircrew counterparts from the 36th Airlift Squadron for their pre-flight briefings and inspections, comparing operational practices and professional airlift strategies with their own at Yokota Air Base, Japan.
Though the sister squadrons often have cultural exchange activities, this was the first time the two squadrons came together for an operational exchange.
"It was nice having them here," said Tech. Sgt. Robert Dela Caza, a 36 AS flight engineer. "The JASDF engineer was able to follow me as I performed my pre-flight. We got a chance to compare notes and discuss differences and similarities in our practice."
Chief Master Sgt. Akiharu Tanabe, a JASDF 401st Squadron flight engineer, echoed Dela Caza's experience, "A lot of the electronics are the same between our (U.S. and JASDF) C-130 Hercules, but the avionics are different."
In addition to sharing practices amongst aircrews, the JASDF aircrew also toured the Air Control Tower and learned about the airfield management flight and radar approach control missions at Yokota.
"It would be great to fly with our JASDF counterparts, either as part of a formation or to have them as guests on our aircraft," Dela Caza said. "I think it would be a lot of fun, and it would further strengthen our partnership."