HomeNewsArticle Display

Australian Defence Force Academy visits Kadena AB, learns about the Battle of Okinawa

PACAF EOD tech to compete for top Air Force level award

Mark Waycaster, Marine Corps Community Services tour guide, explains the Battle of Okinawa to cadets from the Australian Defence Force Academy while standing on a former Japanese machine gun bunker at Naha, Okinawa, Japan, April 9, 2019. The Kadena Air Base history office collaborated with MCCS to provide tours of battlefields across the island as well as a few military bases for the ADFA cadets. Fostering key partnerships is vital especially in the incredibly vast Pacific area of operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin Sutton)


Fifteen members from the Australian Defence Force Academy recently spent time at Kadena Air Base, learning about the 18th Wing’s capabilities and visiting historical sites.

The cadets and cadre were hosted by the 18th WG’s History office during their tour of base and the surrounding battlefields from World War II.

“The students and staff from the Australian Defence Force Academy visited Okinawa to get a detailed and hands-on look at the U.S. military experience during the Battle of Okinawa, which lasted roughly 83 grueling days from April 1 to June 23, 1945,” said William McEvoy, 18th WG chief historian.

The ADFA comprised of cadets from all three Australian military services.

“Having all the military service organizations present for this military history tour was very important for us because this is the first time the Australian Defence Force Academy has come to Okinawa,” said Australian Army Lt. Col. Ross Cable, Australian Army Knowledge Group historian and Australian Armored Corps officer. “There is so much history across the Asia-Pacific region.”

Cable explained how excited he was to visit Kadena AB because it’s a fantastic location for a battlefield tour. Many of the Japanese defense locations and fortifications are still intact and the terrain is largely unchanged since the war.

“Okinawa is one of the best locations we can take our cadets to see historical battle sites,” Cable explained. “We can stand on Kadena Air Base and can see the exact invasion beaches, airfield and ground through which the American forces attacked. The same holds true for other battlefields like Hacksaw Ridge. Plus, it’s extremely affordable and easy to travel here as opposed to other battlefield locations around the Pacific.”

One of the priorities of Kadena AB is readiness and warfighting integration, which McEvoy echoed during his tours.

“Always training and being prepared is key for the U.S. forces here,” he explained. “It’s extremely likely if there’s another major conflict, the United States will be fighting it with our Australian allies. Readiness along with joint integration and operability come when we work together at every opportunity—be it combat operations or historical site tours. If we understand what happened before, we can work to duplicate what worked and avoid making the same mistakes. Since the U.S. is such a strong ally with Australia and have fought alongside them before in the Pacific, we should continue to work with them now and in the future.”

The praise of the longstanding partnership between the U.S. and Australia was also emphasized by Cable.

“We are also very fortunate to have fantastic support from our U.S. allies,” he stated. “The U.S. Air Force and Marine Corps here have been courteous and helpful in assisting us. Both of our guides are true experts of the battlefields and have taught our cadets so much about the military history here. Australia stood with the United States during World War II and has in every major conflict since, it’s a partnership we care deeply about. It’s important to also ensure a high-degree of interoperability and understanding as we move forward to meet the challenges we face together.”

Fostering key partnerships is vital especially in the incredibly vast Pacific area of operations.

“This type of training opportunity gives us all a chance to get to know each other and learn from each other in an educational, but low-stress, environment and is key to helping foster trust and familiarity between the two nations,” McEvoy said. “It also gives us a chance to share stories and become friends. For the history office, we hold and add to the institutional memory of Kadena AB and the (U.S. Air Force). We have a duty to not only share our knowledge and data with American military leadership, but also share it with our partners and allies.”

The Kadena AB history office collaborated with Marine Corps Community Services to provide tours of battlefields across the island as well as a few military bases.

“As I was explaining to the cadets while we drove around the Kadena airfield, the primary lesson for them to learn here is the sheer capabilities of the U.S. Forces and think about how they will integrate with them in the future,” Cable said. “Kadena Air Base is extremely impressive. The amount of equipment and people along with the high rate of readiness here, really shows how committed the U.S. is to the defense of Okinawa.”

The cadets and staff left Okinawa with knowledge and memories they can take to their military units over the next few years.

“This was a terrific experience for everyone involved and I am honored to have been a part of it,” McEvoy said.


Facebook Twitter
#B2 Spirit, a combination of #stealth & advanced avionics. #ThisWeekinHistory https://t.co/Bd7OrB3bbb
RT @AF_WSOC: 👀 who popped up with the big dogs on TopDrawerSoccer’s Top 40 Ranked Recruiting Classes for 2019! Excited to have these fresh…
For saving two fellow wingmen while deployed in Afghanistan, Tech. Sgt. Nick Torres received two bronze star medals… https://t.co/83bcAvqCxG
RT @DefenceHQ: Today the various NATO aircraft flypast at #RIAT19 to mark the 70th anniversary of NATO! Since its creation, NATO has been…
The @DeptofDefense has partnered with the @DeptVetAffairs to implement the first Women's Health Transition Training… https://t.co/JUTFicsXDw
⚡️ “Apollo 11 50th anniversary” https://t.co/GSeJYz6wPJ
The 413th Flight Test Sq. @TeamEglin successfully conducted the 1st #USAF piloted flight of the #HH60W Combat Rescu… https://t.co/wTyTtcmZjv
Jetting into the weekend like... #F16 https://t.co/wEWD7vr476
.@AstroHague showing his #USAF pride during the anniversary week of the #Apollo50 landing. @ISS_Researchhttps://t.co/WdgCFDmz6f
'Only two of us were not shot or dying': #USAF #Airman receives Silver Star for heroism in Afghanistan heroism… https://t.co/IdmKq8gtDx
RT @AFResearchLab: Dr. Lisa Rueschhoff was one of 82 engineers chosen to attend @theNAEng 2019 U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Symposium! Sh…
RT @ActingSecAF: .@GenDaveGoldfein is bolstering partners & #allies across Europe, discussing how we can be #StrongerTogether in air, #spac
Annual recovery efforts have helped to identify 40 of the 52 service members lost when a C-124 crashed into Mount G… https://t.co/fdHUY2IATf
8 of the surviving #Apollo #Astronauts got together for the 50th anniversary of the #moonlanding. @NASAhttps://t.co/szPJHXupa1
RT @HQUSAFEPA: Gen. Goldfein, during his keynote address at the 2019 Chief of the Air Staff's Air and Space Power Conference said the follo…
.@WrightPattAFB opened a #cyberdefense facility for #USAF Life Cycle Management Center's Fighters & Bombers Directo… https://t.co/QibdORLX2q
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Our asymmetric advantage is represented in this room. It is all of us working together on a common cause. Great to see…
.@AFResearchLab supports @AFThunderbirds w/cutting-edge aerospace #technology. From G-suits, custom earpieces, fly-… https://t.co/HJ07fLg2aP