JASDF air support command experiences cargo support through 730 AMS visit

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Taylor Slater
  • 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Japan Air Ground Self-Defense Force Lt. Gen. Hideaki Kajiya, air support command vice commander, visited the 730th Air Mobility Squadron at Yokota Air Base, Japan, March 22, to learn about how the squadron uses material handling equipment operations as part of their hands-on cooperation with allies.

The tour first took them to the squadron’s warehouse, where U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Weeks, 730th AMS air terminal operations center information controller, informed JASDF about the different missions and duties of the 730th AMS.

“We act as a force multiplier in smaller airfields,” Weeks said. “We’re able to deploy to airfields with limited services to provide operational support for cargo and assets.”

Weeks went on to describe operations in northern Japan, the Philippines and continental United States in his presentation.

Afterwards, JASDF observed the mechanized material handling system, which is an automated device for processing cargo. Implemented in 2015, this device expedites the procedure for processing cargo at one-third of the time it would take for the squadron to process cargo normally.

“We can take a normally six to eight hour process for loading a (Boeing) 747 and do it in an hour,” said Ernie Weber, 730th AMS air terminal manager.

The system is one-of-a-kind in the Asia-Pacific theater, as the system only exists on a few other bases such as Ramstein Air Base, Germany; Dover Air Force Base, Delaware; and Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina. The machine is a product of cooperation, born out of a collaboration between the 374th Mission Support Group, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the local industry and government of Japan.

Partnership is key to success in the 374th Airlift Wing, and the tenant units are no exception as the 730th AMS stands at the ready to assist regional allies with precious cargo at all times, benefitting and ultimately safeguarding a free and open Indo-Pacific.