More Japanese gear moving on US military transports

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Senior Airman Brandon Ihnat and Master Sgt. Christopher Bergstrom, both 374th Logistics Readiness Squadron Combat Mobility Flight air transportation specialists, write the weight of a Japan Ground Self-Defense Force vehicle on duct tape at Chitose, Hokkaido, Japan, April 18, 2016. The vehicles, along with JGSDF servicemembers, were airlifted to Kumamoto Prefecture to assist with disaster relief efforts after Japan was struck by series of earthquakes. (Michael Washburn/U.S. Air Force)
From Stripes.com
Senior Airman Brandon Ihnat and Master Sgt. Christopher Bergstrom, both 374th Logistics Readiness Squadron Combat Mobility Flight air transportation specialists, write the weight of a Japan Ground Self-Defense Force vehicle on duct tape at Chitose, Hokkaido, Japan, April 18, 2016. The vehicles, along with JGSDF servicemembers, were airlifted to Kumamoto Prefecture to assist with disaster relief efforts after Japan was struck by series of earthquakes. (Michael Washburn/U.S. Air Force)

More Japanese gear moving on US military transports

by: Seth Robson | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: August 20, 2016

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — The U.S. military is training to move Japan Ground Self-Defense Force vehicles by air and sea as the allies come to grips with new Japanese defense guidelines allowing for more cooperation in an emergency.

In January, the Air Force certified Japanese military vehicles to fly on U.S. aircraft at Yokota Air Base and Kisarazu Air Field. Three months later, U.S. C-130 cargo planes were moving Japanese trucks in a real-world operation after a series of devastating earthquakes in Kumamoto. And Army landing craft moved Japanese armored cars between Sasebo and Yokohama last month, U.S. officials said.

The air and sea freight operations follow changes to rules governing the Japan Self-Defense Force that were approved by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet last year. The changes give the Japanese military more freedom to act in support of U.S. forces in an emergency and remove geographical limits on their areas of operation.

“The new defense guidelines, agreed to in 2015, as well as the security legislation recently enacted by the Japanese Diet, are enabling new, expanded forms of cooperation with Japan,” U.S. Forces Japan spokesman Maj. John Severns said in an email.

The guidelines envision robust collaboration in international peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance and disaster response, and mutual logistics support between U.S. and Japanese forces, he said.

Personnel from the Air Transportability Test Loading Activity, out of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, came to Japan in January to certify that Japanese military vehicles could be safely transported on U.S. aircraft, he said.

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