Yokota commander marks one year of leading the 374th Airlift Wing

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Taylor A. Workman
  • 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Col. Andrew Roddan, 374th Airlift Wing commander hosted a media day June 26 to commemorate one year of leading the Airmen of Team Yokota and to thank the local communities for their support of the 374 AW mission.

The media day was accented with tales of a remarkable year for the 374 AW, which featured community outreach events, humanitarian aid missions, and numerous engagements with host nation allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific.

“It is a privilege to serve as the commander of the 374th Airlift Wing and to lead our incredible team of Airmen and civilians,” said Roddan. “I have enjoyed working with our Japanese partners and civic leaders in the local community as we continue to build our strong relationships. Also, our collaborative efforts with our friends in the Japan Self Defense Force are invaluable, and I’ve especially enjoyed working with the JSDF in support of the defense of Japan.”

Roddan highlighted how the base’s continued engagement with the Japanese community led to the success of events meant to bring people together, to include ongoing monthly farmers markets and other opportunities to connect the on-base community with off-base residents.

This year’s festivals were emblematic of the Wing’s continued engagement with the local community. The Sakura Spring Festival in April attracted seven thousand visitors, who were able to see and enjoy various performances and cultural activities along with public remarks from both U.S. and Japanese leaders. Friendship Festival 2023, the base’s largest annual public event, also saw attendance surge this year, reaching a historic high of 193 thousand guests.

Roddan emphasized the base mission could not succeed without civilians and contractors from both the U.S. and Japan.

“From our airlift capability to our maintenance and mission support teams, there are Airmen and civilians here who provide critical contributions across the base,” said Roddan. “Our team is multitalented and diverse, coming from places all over the world and ultimately serving now in support of our wing and the U.S.”

He continued by thanking the local community for their understanding and support. Roddan emphasized the importance of continuing to communicate with the host nation community and highlighted how ongoing engagement is the key to a successful partnership.

“Our base has a strong relationship with the local community, including our civic leaders across the five cities and one town that immediately surround the installation,” said Roddan. “Having this partnership and cooperation is critical, both now and in the future. The engagement and participation in our public events demonstrate how much enthusiasm there is for our mission, our aircraft, and our people, and we are thankful for the support we’ve received from our Japanese friends and neighbors.”

The installation continues to receive an outpouring of invitations to collaborate with partners and allies across the region, and Yokota leadership is on-track to keep the operational pace while incorporating more ways to integrate with partner nation forces.

374th Airlift Wing: A unit of the United States Air Force located at Yokota Air Base. It is responsible to the Commander, Pacific Air Forces for C-130J, UH-1N and C-12J operations including tactical air-land, airdrop, aeromedical and distinguished visitor airlift. As the primary Western Pacific airlift hub for peacetime and contingency operations, the wing provides airlift for the movement of passengers, cargo and mail to all Department of Defense agencies in the Pacific area of responsibility and provides transport for people and equipment throughout the Kanto Plain and the Tokyo metropolitan area. During peacetime, the 374th Airlift Wing maintains a constant state of readiness by participating in joint training exercises.