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Local agriculture firm visits Misawa Air Base, builds relations

Strike a pose

Japan Agriculture Towada Oirase members pose for a photo during their visit to American Forces Network Misawa at Misawa Air Base, Japan, March 7, 2018. After being briefed on the AFN mission at Misawa, they were shown the television studio and radio booths to get a behind-the-scenes look at what AFN Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines do on a daily basis. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jarrod Vickers)

Helping hands

Japan Air Self-Defense Force Airman Masaki Yasumura, a 3rd Air Wing fireman, shows equipment to Japan Agriculture Towada Oirase members during their tour of the 3rd AW fire station. Their visit at the fire station started with a brief on fire and disaster prevention and ended with interactive equipment demonstrations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jarrod Vickers)

Group photo

Members from Japan Agriculture pose for a photo at American Forces Network Misawa at Misawa Air Base, Japan, March 7, 2018. The tour afforded them the opportunity to see the AFN mission and how it has evolved over the past 60 years. During their visit, JA members were able to operate camera equipment and see what it is like to be on-air in a television studio. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jarrod Vickers)

Hands-on tour

A Japan Air Self-Defense Force Chief Master Sergeant gives Japan Agriculture Towada Oirase members a hands-on familiarization tour with 3rd Air Wing fire station fire trucks. Tour attendees were able to climb inside of their trucks, try on equipment and ask questions about their mission while they were there. Misawa Air Base hosts tours monthly for off-base civilians to have a chance to see the mission up close. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jarrod Vickers)

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- Japanese locals with the Japan Agriculture Towada Oirase branch toured two Misawa Air Base agencies including American Forces Network and the 3rd Air Wing’s fire station March 7.

During their visit, they experienced how American and Japanese forces work together to see both sides of the installation’s bilateral operations that provide safety and security across the Indo-Pacific region.

“We shared our mission and history with them,” said Master Sgt. Genevieve Armstrong, the AFN Misawa station manager. “It was nice to show them our operations and demonstrate how we’ve evolved over the years.”

After their visit with AFN, the JA members grabbed lunch at the Tohoku enlisted club and made their way to the Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s fire station where they received a behind-the-scenes look into their equipment and practices.

“Our job is to ensure fire and disaster prevention,” said JASDF Master Sgt. Naoki Sasaki, a 3rd AW fireman. “It was great to inform and train the public on how they can prevent fires and how we combat disasters should they arise.”

Most tours visit different facilities around base and often times draw repeat visitors to see those diversified mission sets.

“I was very impressed when I first saw the base,” reminisced Etsuko Kudou, the head of Japan Agriculture Towada Oirase. “I wanted to request another base tour so I could show my colleagues what you do here on base.”

This is Kudou’s sixth base tour. They’re conducted monthly by the 3rd Air Wing Public Affairs or 35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs office, and provide a peek behind the gates to showcase the U.S. - Japan alliance and daily operations.

“We’re guests in their country,” said Armstrong. “It’s only right for them to see how we operate behind the gates and understand our mission here in Misawa.”