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Readout of Visit to Yokota Air Base by Representatives Suematsu and Ohkawara

19-005 | Aug. 28, 2019

United States Forces Japan Office of Public Affairs provides the following readout from today’s visit to Yokota Air Base by Representative Yoshinori Suematsu and Representative Masako Ohkawara: 

U.S. Forces Japan (USFJ) hosted Rep. Yoshinori Suematsu and Rep. Masako Ohkawara at Yokota Air Base today to discuss a number of topics related to the United States’ support to the Mutual Security Treaty.  Subject matter experts from the headquarters and various base units briefed the visiting Diet delegation on a variety of topics related to base operations.  Headquarters personnel also discussed the dynamic and severe nature of the security environment in the region and the critical role Yokota Air Base plays in ensuring regional security and stability. 

The visit began with a “mission briefing” to provide an overview of the many missions supported at Yokota Air Base and across U.S. Forces Japan.  The delegation also discussed the close cooperation and understanding between the local communities and American forces on base.    

Following the overview briefings, the delegation visited 21st Special Operations Squadron, which operates the CV-22 Osprey aircraft out of Yokota Air Base.  The visit provided the delegation an opportunity to learn about the many measures the unit employs to ensure safe operations, as well as to minimize noise.  The unit also discussed the negative impact  training restrictions have on generating the readiness required to defend Japan. 

They also saw the RQ-4 Global Hawk and learned how its capabilities to maintain extended periods of surveillance over vast areas directly provides the Alliance timely, critical warning of threats to its territories and overall security during these times of heightened tensions. It was also discussed that by operating from Yokota Air Base on a rotational basis, the Global Hawk and its strategic capabilities are best positioned to support the Alliance.

After the Osprey orientation, the delegation toured the base and discussed the growing challenges confronting the base as various organizations with increased capabilities compete for limited space.  USFJ officials concluded the visit by expressing their gratitude for the Diet’s interest and support to U.S. forces deployed in defense of Japan.