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CSAF to Pacific partners: 'We must be better together'

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and Republic of Korea Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Sung Il-Hwan exchange gifts following a meeting in Seoul, Republic of Korea, Aug. 23, 2013. As part of a two-week tour of the Pacific, Welsh met with military partners in Korea and Japan, as well as Airmen and their families, to discuss opportunities and challenges in the
region.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and Republic of Korea Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Sung Il-Hwan exchange gifts following a meeting in Seoul, Republic of Korea, Aug. 23, 2013. As part of a two-week tour of the Pacific, Welsh met with military partners in Korea and Japan, as well as Airmen and their families, to discuss opportunities and challenges in the region.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III is welcome by Gen. Harukazu Saitoh, Japan Air Self Defense Force chief of staff, and an honor cordon at the Ministry of Defense in Tokyo, Japan, Aug. 26, 2013.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III is welcome by Gen. Harukazu Saitoh, Japan Air Self Defense Force chief of staff, and an honor cordon at the Ministry of Defense in Tokyo, Japan, Aug. 26, 2013.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III meets with Gen. Harukazu Saitoh, Japan Air Self Defense Force chief of staff, at the Ministry of Defense building in Tokyo, Japan, Aug. 26, 2013. As part of a two-week tour of the Pacific, Welsh met with military partners in Korea and Japan, as well as Airmen and their families, to discuss opportunities and challenges in the region.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III meets with Gen. Harukazu Saitoh, Japan Air Self Defense Force chief of staff, at the Ministry of Defense building in Tokyo, Japan, Aug. 26, 2013. As part of a two-week tour of the Pacific, Welsh met with military partners in Korea and Japan, as well as Airmen and their families, to discuss opportunities and challenges in the region.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III is greeted by Lt. Gen. Tetsuo Morimoto, Northern Air Defense Force commander, upon his arrival to Misawa Air Base, Japan, Aug. 28, 2013.  During Welsh’s visit, his first to Misawa as the CSAF, he toured various locations on base and met with hundreds of Misawa Airmen.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III is greeted by Lt. Gen. Tetsuo Morimoto, Northern Air Defense Force commander, upon his arrival to Misawa Air Base, Japan, Aug. 28, 2013. During Welsh’s visit, his first to Misawa as the CSAF, he toured various locations on base and met with hundreds of Misawa Airmen.

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan (AFNS) --

As part of his two-week tour of the Pacific, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III met with military partners in Korea and Japan Aug. 23 to 28 to discuss opportunities and challenges in the region.

 

“Partnerships become more important when resources are limited,” Welsh said. “We must be better together. Our partnerships in this region have gotten stronger and stronger over the last few years. It will only continue to get better due to the amount of respect we share for each other, which will serve as a springboard for better activity going forward. My overall impression of our time together is that our relationship is strong.”

 

Among the many partners he met with were Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera; Gen. Shigeru Iwasaki, chief of joint staff for the Japan Self Defense Forces; Gen. Harukazu Saitoh, Japan Air Self-Defense Force chief of staff; and Gen. Sung Il-Hwan, Republic of Korea Air Force chief of staff. Welsh also visited the Japanese Air Defense Command to see firsthand the bilateral command and control functions operating at Yokota, and the Northern Air Defense Force leadership at Misawa.

 

Among the topics of discussion were mutual security challenges and plans to further strengthen the cooperation between the respective air forces wherever possible, like continued participation in exercises like Red Flag.

 

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