USFJ/5AF commander visits Kadena
KADENA AIR BASE, JAPAN -- The U.S. Forces Japan and 5th Air Force commander visited Okinawa to meet with U.S. Department of Defense leadership and tour multiple installations to gain familiarity with the forces stationed here July 22, 2015.
During his visit, Lt. Gen. John Dolan said, "There's a huge impact to what the forces here at Okinawa provide, both in stability and peace in the area."
Dolan spent time with Team Kadena Airmen and leadership to learn more about Kadena's position as the Keystone of the Pacific and speak about his priorities.
He said his main priorities are to defend the U.S. interests in this region, including Japan, during any type of hostilities as part of our treaty responsibilities. He also wants to focus on Team Kadena's inter-operability and bilateral cooperation with the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, as well as continue to build on and strengthen the U.S.-Japan Alliance.
These responsibilities are not new to Dolan, as he has previously served in locations such as Misawa Air Base, Japan, and tours in South Korea.
"I have been fortunate enough to have those assignments," Dolan explained. "It gave me a perspective of how Japan and specifically Okinawa fits into the strategic picture here in the Pacific Theater."
Dolan also spoke about the U.S. rebalance to the Indo-Asia-Pacific and the Air Force's role as that effort progresses.
"As Airmen, we have always been [in Okinawa]; the rebalance is across all forces and we are continuously looking at how we position our forces across the Pacific," Dolan said. "The one thing that hasn't changed is the presence of air power and what that brings to the fight and it will not change."
Dolan recognizes Team Kadena's ability to provide rapid and precise air, space and cyberspace capabilities throughout the area of responsibility.
"There is a very good reason you are called the Keystone of the Pacific," Dolan said. "The air power capability that is generated out of Kadena is second to none in this theater; it covers all aspects of our mission."
Dolan also explained what the Team Kadena Airmen and personnel do to ensure the mission is completed every day.
"We have an incredibly diverse volunteer force that brings in a unique capability to make sure we can generate that air power and provide that air power to the PACOM commander at any time."
Dolan intends to continue his tour of Japan-based U.S. military installations once he leaves Kadena, but had one parting message for Team Kadena.
"I want to thank the Airmen and their families who are stationed here at Kadena," he said. "It's an overseas assignment, you're on a remote location and I know that sometimes although it is a very nice island and it can be paradise, it's not without sacrifice. I also know there are Airmen here that are deployed in contingencies so you pile that on to already being stationed overseas. I want to thank them, and I especially want to thank their families who are making that sacrifice for their country by supporting their family members who are stationed here."