New US Forces Japan commander takes reins, stressing importance of training and readiness
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Lt. Gen. Kevin Schneider emphasized the importance of maintaining readiness in the face of “increasingly difficult security challenges” as he took command of U.S. Forces Japan and 5th Air Force on Tuesday in western Tokyo.
Schneider became the senior U.S. military leader in Japan after receiving the colors during an indoor ceremony at Yokota’s Enlisted Club presided over by Indo-Pacific Command leader Adm. Philip Davidson and Pacific Air Forces commander Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. U.S. Ambassador to Japan William Hagerty, New Zealand Ambassador to Japan Stephen Payton and senior military leaders from both the United States and Japan were also in attendance.
Schneider replaces Lt. Gen. Jerry Martinez, who is retiring from the Air Force after a 33-year career capped by more than two years at the helm of USFJ — a turbulent period that saw an increasingly aggressive China and heightened tensions with North Korea.
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