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Misawa operates through record breaking December snowfall, demonstrates joint and allied force readiness

Aircraft take off or prepare to take off

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon, assigned to the 13th Fighter Squadron, taxis towards the runway at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Jan. 11, 2021. Despite the harsh weather conditions, the 35th Fighter Wing continues executing its mission of projecting combat air power and defending Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Leon Redfern)

Joint and allied personnel at Misawa Air Base executed mission-essential training and defense operations directly supporting the Indo-Pacific Command mission while simultaneously receiving a record breaking 72.4 inches of snowfall during the month of December in 2020.

Aircraft take off or prepare to take off

A U.S. Air Force Airman conducts pre-flight checks with an F-16 Fighting Falcon prior take off at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Jan. 11 2021. U.S. and Japanese forces conducted hundreds of operational sorties at Misawa Air Base during the month of December in 2020. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Leon Redfern)

Aircraft take off or prepare to take off

A U.S. Air Force Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 909th Air Refueling Squadron takes off during a training mission at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Jan. 11, 2021. By training with joint partners and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, Misawa Air Base personnel are prepared to defend likeminded nations from regional threats. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Leon Redfern)

Aircraft take off or prepare to take off

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 13th Fighter Squadron takes off during a training mission at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Jan. 11, 2021. U.S. and Japanese snow and ice removal teams perform 24-hour operations throughout December to support uninterrupted airfield and base operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Leon Redfern)

Aircraft take off or prepare to take off

U.S. Navy Sailors assigned to the “Black Ravens” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 135, perform maintenance on an EA-18G Growler after landing at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Jan. 11, 2021. The operation of this aircraft serves to integrate U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, and Japan Air Self-Defense Force assets and increase interoperability between joint and allied personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Leon Redfern)

Aircraft take off or prepare to take off

A U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 909th Air Refueling Squadron taxis down the runway at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Jan. 11, 2021. This aircraft provides the core aerial refueling capability and has excelled in this role for more than 60 years, enhancing the Unites States Air Force's capability to accomplish its primary mission of global reach. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Leon Redfern)

Aircraft take off or prepare to take off

A U.S. Navy EA-18G Growler assigned to the “Black Ravens” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 135, taxis down the runway at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Jan. 11, 2021. Joint and allied personnel at Misawa Air Base executed mission-essential training and defense operations while simultaneously receiving a record breaking 72.4 inches of snowfall during December of 2020. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Leon Redfern)

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan --

Joint and allied personnel at Misawa Air Base executed mission-essential training and defense operations directly supporting the Indo-Pacific Command mission while simultaneously receiving a record breaking 72.4 inches of snowfall during the month of December in 2020.

The previous snowfall record recorded by the 14th Weather Squadron occurred when the installation receive 59.4 inches of snowfall in December of 2000. The weather squadron maintains an archive of snowfall records ranging back to the 1950s. 

35th Civil Engineering Squadron snow and ice removal teams, alongside Japan Air Self-Defense Force partners, performed 24-hour operations throughout December to clear installation runways, taxiways, roadways, and parking lots to support uninterrupted airfield and base operations.

“Team Misawa has the best U.S. and Japanese snow and ice removal teams in the Pacific. Their hard work and expertise allowed us to execute uninterrupted operations in a harsh winter environment,” said Col. Jesse J. Friedel, 35th Fighter Wing commander. “Maintaining operational readiness at Misawa directly supports Indo-Pacific Command’s mission to implement a combat credible deterrence strategy capable of denying our adversaries sustained air and sea dominance by focusing on posturing the Joint Force to win before fighting, while being ready to fight and win.”

The 35th FW is the only dedicated U.S. Air Force Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses wing in Pacific Air Forces' area of responsibility. It is the 35th FW’s mission to protect U.S. interests in the Pacific and defend Japan; and deter adversaries through presence, readiness, and ability to project agile combat air power.

During the month of December, U.S. and Japanese forces conducted hundreds of operational sorties at Misawa AB.  

The snow removal was also vital to the 35th Medical Group’s ability to receive and administer initial COVID-19 vaccines to hundreds of base personnel, and test nearly 500 base personnel for COVID, to mitigate the potential spread of the virus.

“Joint and allied personnel at Misawa demonstrated we are fully prepared to operate in a demanding environment; and our combat power will always be ready to rapidly respond, at the time and place of our choosing,” said Friedel. “I’m proud of our joint and allied team for their herculean efforts to keep the base running. We have already received more than 100 inches of snow this winter, and we will continue to be ready to fight and win.”