Annual tug of war event strengthens US, Japan partnership

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Brittany A. Chase
  • 35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Teams with the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and Japan Air Self-Defense Force came together to forge friendships and compete in the 16th Annual Northern Air Defense Force Commander’s Cup Tug of War Tournament at Misawa Air Base, Japan, March 18.

Nineteen teams competed for the tug of war championship title including three USN, five USAF and 11 JASDF. Team Honey, with the Northern Air Defense Control Group, dethroned the reigning champions, Crazy Horse, with the Northern Aircraft Control and Warning Wing Headquarters.

Although no American teams placed in the top three, participants were grateful for the opportunity to bond with their host nation partners.

“I think an event like this strengthens bilateral ties because not only are we competing with each other, we are also making friends in the process,” said Tech. Sgt. Michael Downing, the 35th Operations Support Squadron intelligence flight chief. “The social event after the Tug of War was a great forum to get to know our JASDF brothers on a personal level. There is definitely a language barrier at times, but we get along like old friends. Ultimately, the JASDF put together a great event and I’m honored to have been a part of it.”