YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Deputy Commander of the Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) Lt. Gene. James Jacobson visited Yokota Air Base, August 21 to 23, as part of a larger PACAF tour.
Jacobson kicked off his tour meeting with US Forces Japan and 374th Airlift Wing leadership where he received updates on current projects, future exercises and unit readiness with an emphasis on forces assigned to Yokota and evolving US Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) challenges.
“The issue in the Indo-Pacific theater is that it’s fixed,” Jacobson said. “The only way you get after fixed is with the Air Force projecting power via airlift and air refueling. You can have the greatest fighter or bomber force in the world, but at some point, they need equipment and gas to get where they are going and the force, they are capable of projecting. What makes America and PACAF great is its ability to bring those forces across the vast nature of the Indo-Pacific theater.”
During this component of his Japan tour, Jacobson learned about the strategic capabilities, operations tempo and future plans for Yokota, while engaging with Yokota Airmen.
“The Airmen, Guardians and families get the opportunities to be this far forward, serving as the face of America to our Japanese partners,” he said. “To experience all the Japanese culture, and the ability visit places you’d never normally get to is so wonderful. I’m thankful for them volunteering to be out there and thankful for them enduring while being here during COVID, and dealing with some of the trials and tribulations. I’m most thankful for what they are going to do next, which is be the US face forward, and be the US face for our allies and Japan, and to be the US face for deterrence.”
The tour concluded with Jacobson meeting with Japanese leadership at Yokota, speaking with Lt. Gene. Hiroaki Uchikura, Japan Air Self-Defense Force Air Defense Command Commander.
“We INDOPACOM, we PACAF, we 5th Air Force, we 374th Airlift Wing, are competing everyday along with our allies and partners to maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific, while the [People’s Republic of China] and others try to force their view of life and system on other, whether it be physical coercion, economic coercion, or diplomatic coercion,” Jacobson said. “There is no better antidote to that than allies and partners. When the world sees the US and the US-Japan alliance strengthening and working well together that demonstrates our commitment and demonstrates a broader alliance commitment. When you pair that with South Korea, it gets stronger. When you bring in Australia, like we’ve seen in the past, it’s an even more united front.”