MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan, July 2, 2019 —
U.S. Air Force and Japan Air Self-Defense Force logistics team members came together to load supplies and prepare for RED FLAG-Alaska 19-2 at Misawa Air Base, Japan, May 27 to 31.
More than 35 personnel prepped 281,000 pounds of U.S. and JASDF cargo over a three-month span, preparing for one of the most crucial combat training operations of the year. The 10-day air combat exercise involved more than 1,200 people and nearly 100 aircraft.
“With a month-long exercise, there is a lot of coordination involved with supplies,” said Staff Sgt. Tristan Caro, a 35th Logistics Readiness Squadron air transportation journeyman. “RED FLAG-Alaska is crucial for how we work with our allies. Bringing militaries from all over the world into one exercise gives us a new perspective.”
The 35th LRS follows a three-step process: assembly, marshalling and in check, which ensures a consistent and thorough process for the cargo being used during the training exercise.
These supplies are critical for this multi-national, mixed-platform combat operations exercise, which tested the capabilities of participating units by simulating threats posed by offensive and defensive teams. At the height of the operation, up to 70 aircraft operate in the same airspace at once.
“Working together with our counterparts helps us understand each process and enables our team to better prepare for real-world events,” said 2nd Lt. Mariana Haney, the 35th Logistics Readiness Squadron plans and integration officer in charge of deployments. “There’s a variety of cargo, so multiple squadrons are involved with the supply logistics.”
JASDF personnel inspect their own cargo, ensuring it meets U.S. standards, then joined the munitions flight and LRS flights in moving and loading the cargo into a Boeing 747 from Air Mobility Command.
“It takes a team effort to execute on all the preparation we have done,” explained Haney, “Working with allied forces and other sections allows us to understand our process in a different context, which is crucial for actual scenarios.”
After seven days of loading and moving cargo, the final shipment of supplies made its way to Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, enabling Team Misawa to execute the wide range of real world scenarios in an austere environment for RF-A 19-2.
RF-A 19-2 wrapped up June 21 with the next iteration of RF-A, 19-3, scheduled for August 1 to 16.
Editor's note: The original story can be viewed on the Misawa Air Base website.