Team Yokota hosts 76th Air Force Ball

  • Published
  • By Yasuo Osakabe
  • 374th Airlift Wing public affairs

Members of Team Yokota celebrated the U.S. Air Force 76th Birthday during the annual Air Force Ball at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Oct. 14.

The Air Force Ball is a time-honored tradition where military communities join together to celebrate Air Force heritage and commemorate past and present contributions to national defense.

“I’m honored to welcome Team Yokota members, our Japan Air Self-Defense Force counterparts, and mayors from the surrounding area Yokota here tonight,” said Col. Andrew Roddan, 374th Airlift Wing commander. “I look forward to spending this valuable time together and enjoying this spectacular night of honoring and celebrating 76 years of our United States Air Force.”

The event included a performance by Yokota Samurai Taiko, a cake-cutting ceremony, and a “Kagami-Biraki” sake barrel ceremony, in a unique blend of Japanese and American traditions. The ball also featured a backdrop of a C-130J Super Hercules, a C-12 Huron, and a UH-1N Iroquois as static aircraft displays.


Brig. Gen. Jesse Friedel, Fifth Air Force deputy commander, was a keynote speaker for the event and emphasized the importance of resilience and reminded attendees that they are essential figures for maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific.