Dual-hatted USFJ, 5th AF commander visits Team Misawa

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- Lt. Gen. Jerry P. Martinez, the 5th Air Force and U.S. Forces, Japan commander, made his first visit to Misawa Air Base, Japan, Aug. 14 and 15.

“I loved my visit up here,” the general said. “What I found was tremendous pride, professionalism and team work. I could clearly tell all the Airmen I met are excited about their jobs and most importantly, they’re good at their jobs.”

During his visit, Martinez stopped by many Team Misawa shops including vehicle operations, maintenance and medical, inspiring Airmen along the way by emphasizing their vital roles.

“The U.S. Forces Japan members, especially those stationed at Misawa, could be called to defend Japan,” Martinez said. “It’s part of our agreements with Japan; ensuring peace and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific theater. I have great confidence in the Japan Self-Defense Force and in our U.S. armed forces. When you put both of those together, you definitely have a winning team.”

Every member of Team Misawa is a crucial piece of the continuing commitment to the U.S.-Japan alliance.

Airman Garet A. Houser, a 35th Maintenance Squadron aerospace propulsion apprentice, said he enjoyed his time talking with the general.

“I felt he is genuinely interested in what type of work I do here,” Houser said. “His visit helps boost our morale and gives us a sense of pride with the work we put into making the mission happen.”

The bilateral partnership between the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and the U.S. Air Force remains vital to Pacific Air Forces’ strategic and warfighting capabilities, the general explained.

“Misawa Air Base is the tip of the spear,” Martinez said. “No matter which contingency operation that may occur, Misawa plays a critical role as a power projection hub. After my visit I have no doubt we can count on this wing to answer the call at a moment’s notice.”

The 35th FW has a key role in the U.S.’s commitment to the mutual defense of Japan. Misawa is PACAF’s premiere suppression of enemy air-defense wing strategically located to operate as a power-projection platform.

“Misawa has a great reputation,” Martinez said. “This trip reaffirmed all of the positive news I’ve heard about this base. I know we have first-rate Airmen here and I know I can count on this base when we need them.”

Martinez continued saying he looks forward to his next visit and hopes it will be for longer.