Koku Jieitai (Japan Air Self-Defense Force) Lt. Gen. Shinichi Kaneko, Air Support Command commander, visited Scott Air Force Base to tour their U.S. counterpart, Air Mobility Command, during a visit hosted by Lt. Gen. Jon Thomas, AMC deputy commander, Dec. 5-6.
“This visit provided an opportunity for effective, bilateral discussions between AMC and ASC as well as to share knowledge on mobility and logistics capabilities crucial to both our countries,” Thomas said.
During the two-day visit, Kaneko met with multiple mobility experts and leaders at both AMC and U.S. Transportation Command, including an office call and mission brief with Gen. Steve Lyons, U.S. Transportation Command commander, and a tour of the USTRANSCOM Global Operations Center.
Kaneko also met with Thomas for an office call and a tour of AMC’s 618th Air Operations Center, where Kaneko was provided insight on the center’s efforts to plan and execute mobility operations 24/7 across the globe. Along with the AOC visit, Kaneko received briefs on behalf of the command, surgeon general and agile combat employment, which offered updates and insight on AMC and USTRANSCOM initiatives and operations undertaken since the last Koku Jieitai ASC visit to AMC in March, 2018.
Additionally, Capt. Kazuya Sakamoto, Koku Jieitai Aide-de-Camp, provided an ASC brief to Thomas and the AMC staff, which highlighted ASC initiatives and topics of interest including Japan’s current security environment and opportunities for continued interoperability and cooperation in future bilateral exercises. The Japanese delegation also discussed efforts to expand Japan’s aerial refueling fleet, and improve upon its growing contingency response capabilities as ASC continues its 30-year history of providing global humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.
During the second day of the visit, Kaneko received an Aeromedical Evacuation En Route Care mission brief and participated in tours of the 375th Air Mobility Wing’s AE simulator, AE equipment warehouse and AE fuselage, all of which are instrumental to helping AMC Airmen maximize readiness in the AE mission set.
AMC experts also briefed Kaneko on the command’s efforts to integrate the KC-46A Pegasus into the U.S. Air Force aerial refueling fleet, and the recent completion of its premier exercise, Mobility Guardian 2019, which increased interoperability with 29 international partners, to include the Koku Jieitai, who were observers in the exercise.
Mobility Guardian 2019 focused on increasing interoperability between U.S. forces and international partners, like Japan, by testing forces against threats faced in the current fight and future, high-end conflicts, with a focus on addressing mass casualty flow and complex clinical situations where total-force and interoperable partners will need to supplement the patient demand signal.
“My visit to AMC and U.S. Transportation Command provided many insightful discussions on how our two countries can work together and improve our collective mobility capabilities to strengthen the U.S-Japan Alliance,” Kaneko said. “I’m grateful to Gen. Lyons, Lt. Gen. Thomas and all the U.S. mobility experts who took time to talk and show me their operations.”