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US, Japan forces welcome new year with bilateral jump

US, Japan forces welcome new year with bilateral jump

U.S. Air Force Col. Otis C. Jones, 374th Airlift Wing commander, left, Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Maj. Gen. Shigeo Kaida, 1st Airborne Brigade commander, center, and U.S. Air Force Col. Kevin Martin, 374th Operations Group commander, right, take a moment to talk before the jump safety brief at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Jan. 8, 2020. The ongoing partnership between U.S. and Japanese forces continues to demonstrate both country’s commitment to maintaining stability and security throughout the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brieana E. Bolfing)

US, Japan forces welcome new year with bilateral jump

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Maj. Gen. Shigeo Kaida, 1st Airborne Brigade commander, left, receives a gift from U.S. Air Force Col. Kevin Martin, 374th Operations Group commander, right, before a mission brief at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Jan. 8, 2020. The ongoing partnership between U.S. and Japanese forces continues to demonstrate both country’s commitment to maintaining stability and security throughout the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brieana E. Bolfing)

US, Japan forces welcome new year with bilateral jump

Service members from the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, Japan Air Self-Defense Force, and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force attend a jump safety brief for the New Year's jump event at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Jan. 8, 2020. This is the first time U.S. Forces participated in this annual jump event, known as the Prayer for Safe Deployment of Chutes Festival. The event is always the first scheduled jump of the year, providing teams a platform to hone their skills in a bilateral environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brieana E. Bolfing)

US, Japan forces welcome new year with bilateral jump

Leadership from the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force discuss details from the safety brief for the New Year's jump at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Jan. 8, 2020. The training allows U.S. and Japanese units to work alongside one another while improving the readiness of our combined forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brieana E. Bolfing)

Soldiers and Airmen prepare for New Year Jump aboard U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules.

JGSDF soldiers with the 1st Airborne Brigade, U.S. Army Reserve Alaska & 82nd Airborne soldiers and Airmen from the 374th Airlift Wing prepare for Japanese Forces’ annual New Year Jump aboard U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules from the 36th Airlift Squadron out of Yokota Air Base, Japan, Jan. 10, 2020. The jump showcases a bilateral capability bringing military power together to train and emphasize a strong commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jessica R. Avallone)

U.S. Army Reserve Alaska & 82nd Airborne soldiers sit inside C-130J Super Hercules.

U.S. Army Reserve Alaska & 82nd Airborne soldiers prepare for Japanese Forces’ annual New Year Jump aboard U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules from the 36th Airlift Squadron out of Yokota Air Base, Japan, Jan. 10, 2020. The jump showcases a bilateral capability bringing military power together to train and emphasize a strong commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jessica R. Avallone)

Soldiers prepare for New Year Jump aboard U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules.

U.S. Army Reserve Alaska & 82nd Airborne soldiers prepare for Japanese Forces’ annual New Year Jump aboard U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules from the 36th Airlift Squadron out of Yokota Air Base, Japan, Jan. 10, 2020. The jump showcases a bilateral capability bringing military power together to train and emphasize a strong commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jessica R. Avallone)

JGSDF Soldiers adjust parachute harness.

JGSDF soldiers with the 1st Airborne Brigade prepare for Japanese Forces’ annual New Year Jump outside a U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules from the 36th Airlift Squadron out of Yokota Air Base, Japan, Jan. 10, 2020. The jump showcases a bilateral capability bringing military power together to train and emphasize a strong commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jessica R. Avallone)

JDSDF Soldiers gather outside of C-130J Super Hercules in preparation of New Year's Jump.

JGSDF soldiers with the 1st Airborne Brigade prepare for Japanese Forces’ annual New Year Jump outside a U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules from the 36th Airlift Squadron out of Yokota Air Base, Japan, Jan. 10, 2020. The jump showcases a bilateral capability bringing military power together to train and emphasize a strong commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jessica R. Avallone)

US, Japan forces welcome new year with bilateral jump
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Japan Ground Self-Defense Force and U.S. Army troops file into C-130J Super Hercules aircrafts prior to the first bilateral jump event of the new year over Camp Narashino, Chiba, Japan, Jan. 12 2020. The drop consisted of three C-130Js from Yokota Air Base, two Japan Air Self-Defense Force C-130H Hercules, two C-1s, and a C-2, dropping a total of 301 U.S. Army and JGSDF jumpers.(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Taylor A. Workman)

Soldiers and Airmen prepare for New Year Jump aboard U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules.
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JGSDF soldiers with the 1st Airborne Brigade, U.S. Army Reserve Alaska & 82nd Airborne soldiers and Airmen from the 374th Airlift Wing prepare for Japanese Forces’ annual New Year Jump aboard U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules from the 36th Airlift Squadron out of Yokota Air Base, Japan, Jan. 10, 2020. The jump showcases a bilateral capability bringing military power together to train and emphasize a strong commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jessica R. Avallone)

Soldiers and Airmen prepare for New Year Jump aboard U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules.
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JGSDF soldiers with the 1st Airborne Brigade, U.S. Army Reserve Alaska & 82nd Airborne soldiers and Airmen from the 374th Airlift Wing prepare for Japanese Forces’ annual New Year Jump aboard U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules from the 36th Airlift Squadron out of Yokota Air Base, Japan, Jan. 10, 2020. The jump showcases a bilateral capability bringing military power together to train and emphasize a strong commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jessica R. Avallone)

US, Japan forces welcome new year with bilateral jump
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A Japan Ground Self-Defense Force paratrooper with the 1st Airborne Brigade awaits the first bilateral jump event of the year over Camp Narashino, Chiba, Japan, Jan. 12 2020. The jump, which dropped a total of 301 JGSDF and U.S. Army paratroopers, emphasized the combined forces commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Taylor A. Workman)

US, Japan forces welcome new year with bilateral jump
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A U.S. Army paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division is first in line stepping up to the open door of a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft over the Camp Narashino training area, Chiba, Japan, Jan. 12 2020. The drop consisted of three C-130Js from Yokota Air Base, two Japan Air Self-Defense Force C-130H Hercules, two C-1s, and a C-2, dropping a total of 301 U.S. Army and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force jumpers.(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Taylor A. Workman)

Loadmaster kneels by open side door aboard C-130J Super Hercules.
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A 374th Airlift Wing loadmaster prepares for Japanese Forces’ annual New Year Jump aboard U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules from the 36th Airlift Squadron out of Yokota Air Base, Japan, Jan. 10, 2020. The jump showcases a bilateral capability bringing military power together to train and emphasize a strong commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jessica R. Avallone)

US, Japan forces welcome new year with bilateral jump
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A Japan Ground Self-Defense Force paratrooper with the 1st Airborne Brigade lunges to the open door of a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft over the Camp Narashino training area, Chiba, Japan, Jan. 12 2020. The drop consisted of three C-130Js from Yokota Air Base, two Japan Air Self-Defense Force C-130H Hercules, two C-1s, and a C-2, dropping a total of 301 U.S. Army and JGSDF jumpers.(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Taylor A. Workman)

Loadmaster looks out side door aboard flying C-130J Super Hercules.
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A 374th Airlift Wing loadmaster prepares for Japanese Forces’ annual New Year Jump aboard U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules from the 36th Airlift Squadron out of Yokota Air Base, Japan, Jan. 10, 2020. The jump showcases a bilateral capability bringing military power together to train and emphasize a strong commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jessica R. Avallone)

US, Japan forces welcome new year with bilateral jump
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Two U.S. Army jumpmasters signal 10 minutes until jump time for the 43 Japanese and American jumpers aboard a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft above the Camp Narashino training area, Japan, Jan. 12, 2020. The aircraft was one of three used in the Japanese Forces annual New Year's Jump which dates back to the 1960s and became a public event in the 1970s. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Taylor A. Workman)

Soldier leans out side door midair aboard U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules.
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An 82nd Airborne soldier train for Japanese Forces’ annual New Year Jump aboard U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules from the 36th Airlift Squadron out of Yokota Air Base, Japan, Jan. 10, 2020. The jump showcases a bilateral capability bringing military power together to train and emphasize a strong commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jessica R. Avallone)

US, Japan forces welcome new year with bilateral jump
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A U.S. Army paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division steps up to the open door of a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft over the Camp Narashino training area, Chiba, Japan, Jan. 12 2020. The drop was the climax of the Japan Forces annual New Year's Jump, designed to showcase bilateral military capability in a training environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Taylor A. Workman)

Loadmaster closes side door to C-130J Super Hercules.
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A 374th Airlift Wing loadmaster closes door aboard U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules in prepartion of Japanese Forces’ annual New Year Jump at Camp Narashino training area, Chiba, Japan, Jan. 10, 2020. The jump showcases a bilateral capability bringing military power together to train and emphasize a strong commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jessica R. Avallone)

US, Japan forces welcome new year with bilateral jump
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A C-130J Super Hercules in a three-aircraft formation navigates mountainous terrain in preparation for landing at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Jan. 12 2020. The aircrafts, operated by the 36th Airlift Squadron, dropped a total of 101 U.S. Army and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force paratroopers into a Camp Narashino training area for a public display of bilateral military capabilites. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Taylor A. Workman)

US, Japan forces welcome new year with bilateral jump
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A C-130J Super Hercules loadmaster prepares to close the aircraft ramp prior to take off for the Japan Forces annual New Year's Jump out of Yokota Air Base, Japan, Jan. 12, 2020. The jump is a bilateral display of tactical capabilities for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and JGDSF. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Taylor A. Workman)

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan --

Three U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules aircraft from the 36th Airlift Squadron out of Yokota Air Base, Japan, participated in the Japanese forces' annual New Year’s jump at Camp Narashino training area, Chiba, Japan, Jan. 12.

This is the first year the Air Force participated in the event featuring the bilateral collaboration between U.S. and Japanese forces, utilizing aircraft from both the U.S. Air Force and Japan Air Self-Defense Force and jumpers from the U.S. Army and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force.

“The New Year’s jump originally started back in the 1960s and became open to public viewing in the 1970s,” said Capt. Robert Frisch, 36th Airlift Squadron project officer. “It is the prayer for safe deployment of chutes festival, where each year the (Japan Air Self-Defense Force and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force) get together and show the public their capabilities to do a joint jump on a small drop-zone area. That drop-zone location is at Camp Narashino, which is right on the border of Tokyo and Chiba Prefecture. It is pretty much in the city, allowing lots of people to attend.”

The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldiers, with the 1st Airborne Brigade, along with U.S. Army Reserve Alaska and 82nd Airborne soldiers, jumped from the combined U.S. Air Force and Japan Air Self-Defense Force aircraft, showcasing the combined bilateral military capability in a training environment.

“This is a team effort to successfully complete this event,” said Col. Kevin Martin, 374th Operations Group commander. “It’s important as we go forward, whether we are Air Force or Army, whether we wear a U.S. or Japanese flag, that we come together as a team.

“This is a New Year’s celebration. Though the true reality is this shows a bilateral effort by the (Japan Air and Ground Self-Defense Forces), the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Army to provide combat power.”

The jump emphasized the U.S. and Japan’s strong commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region, while showcasing the variety of aircraft both military are capable of utilizing.

“We have three C-130J’s from the U.S. side, two (Japan Air Self-Defense Force) C-130H Hercules, two C-1s and a C-2 all relatively close to each other dropping both U.S., Army and (Japan Ground Self-Defense Force) together over a short period of time. It takes a lot of coordination to make that happen,” Frisch said. “We can incorporate this type of training into literally anything else, be it landing on an island or any other scenario. We have shown we are capable of so much when we work together.

“The fact that we can have (Japan Ground Self-Defense Force) and U.S. Army on our aircraft or on their aircraft, shows we can collaborate as one seamlessly. So, to see that happen and do a joint jump, where within just a few minutes we can get 300 combat-ready troops on the ground in a very small area, that’s just really cool to be a part of.”

This event is the first of the year for the Air Force but just the latest in a series of bilateral training exercises that, for decades, have increased the combat readiness and friendship between the U.S. and Japan.

“As the commander of the Japanese airborne troops,” said Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Maj. Gen. Shigeo Kaida, 1st Airborne Brigade commander. “I cannot think of a better way to work than to do this event with the U.S. and express my deep appreciation to every U.S. soldier and Airmen involved in this New Year’s jump.

“This New Year’s jump event isn’t just another event; it was an opportunity to learn from each other and improve together. We understand there are many differences between us we may have to overcome and that makes this a complicated operation, but in overcoming those challenges, we increase our ability to conduct better airborne operations and that is the true value of what we did here today.”