515 AMOG Partners with Japan Air Self-Defense Force During Annual Port Dawg Rodeo

  • Published
  • By 2d Lt Christopher Winters
  • 515th Air Mobility Operations Wing

The 515th Air Mobility Operations Group co-hosted its second annual Port Dawg Rodeo with the Japan Air Self-Defense Force during the week of March 4, 2024. Fourteen aerial porters from across the Indo-Pacific region met with 14 JASDF members to participate in a goodwill exchange of operational techniques, facility tours, and friendly competitive events. Visiting JASDF members were all logisticians, aligning with the U.S. Air Force’s 2T2 port operations career field. They had the opportunity to share their skill sets throughout the week, providing unique insights to junior members new to the career field.

Throughout the week, the group attended a site visit to Iruma Air Base and later toured some of Yokota’s facilities that enhance Air Mobility Command’s mission. Teams were briefed on cargo processing for shipping, handling specialized cargo movements, and calculating the center of balance as a precursor to safe shipping techniques.

“Being able to come together and challenge each other through competition allows both forces to understand the importance of seamless integration and thus strengthening larger logistical support,” says TSgt. Anthony Como, lead organizer of this year’s event. “Creating logistics professionals who are adaptive is really paramount in today’s Air Force.”

Themes of cooperation, continuity, and adaptability recurred throughout the week-long event. Practicing these skills is what makes events like the Port Dawg Rodeo essential in creating a more well-rounded force.

When asked about the significance of the event, SrA Jestoni Cajimat said, “This event emphasizes the importance of international collaboration and unity. It helps us practice good relations between our allied nations. Sometimes, the JASDF members operate differently than how we do at Yokota, which is extremely beneficial in finding new perspective on solving a problem.”

The Port Dawg Rodeo closed with a family style American meal, allowing both members from the JASDF and USAF to network and bond before departing.