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Air Force assists Japanese senior enlisted development

Chief Master Sgt. James Roy speaks to Japanese Ground Self Defense Force Warrant Officer Katsuhiko Hori Nov. 29 at Yokota Air Base, Japan, during a senior enlisted leader exchange conference. Fifth Air Force and U.S. Forces Japan served as host for a 17-member delegation of Japanese senior enlisted leaders interested in learning best practices and improving enlisted force development in the Japanese army. Chief Roy is the command chief for 5th AF and U.S. Forces Japan and Warrant Officer Hori is the command sergeant major of the Japanese Middle Army Finance Command. (U.S. Marine photo/Master Sgt. Terence R. Peck)

Chief Master Sgt. James Roy speaks to Japanese Ground Self Defense Force Warrant Officer Katsuhiko Hori Nov. 29 at Yokota Air Base, Japan, during a senior enlisted leader exchange conference. Fifth Air Force and U.S. Forces Japan served as host for a 17-member delegation of Japanese senior enlisted leaders interested in learning best practices and improving enlisted force development in the Japanese army. Chief Roy is the command chief for 5th AF and U.S. Forces Japan and Warrant Officer Hori is the command sergeant major of the Japanese Middle Army Finance Command. (U.S. Marine photo/Master Sgt. Terence R. Peck)

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan (AFPN) -- Fifth Air Force and U.S. Forces Japan Nov. 29 served as host to a 17-member delegation of senior enlisted leaders from the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force interested in learning best practices and improving its enlisted force development.

Chief Master Sgt. James Roy, the command chief for U.S. Forces Japan and 5th AF, said the conference was a success at several levels.

"As the U.S.-Japan Security Alliance goes through transformation and realignments, how we consolidate our training locations and train together to be more interoperable will be some of the things we are interested in," said Chief Roy.

The meeting also had tactical and operation benefits for the Japanese guests. Members of the delegation represented the Ground Self Defense Force's first cadre of sergeant majors. Their billets, created in April, will go through a two-year trial period to test the senior enlisted adviser concept.

"Our sergeant major system just began, so I would like to have more opportunities to meet with our U.S. senior enlisted NCOs," said the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force's top enlisted leader, Sgt. Maj. Hiroo Suzuki. He added the Japanese could use this conference to "deepen their knowledge and understanding of the sergeant major system" by returning to their respective units and mentoring their personnel.

"There is going to be a lot more bilateral and joint basing within the theater of Japan," Chief Roy said, "and its meetings and exchanges like this that will make it possible."

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