The Japanese Force at the Front: An airlift wing from the Japan Air Self-Defense Force is working alongside other coalition members in Southwest Asia. The first group of about 200 Japanese airmen deployed to SWA in December 2003, and since then, say US Air Force officials, they have flown more than 325 sorties and hauled some 460 tons of cargo. They fly C-130 airlifters. (Read more here.)
The Air Force will begin its 71st annual Operation Christmas Drop on Dec. 4. The weeklong exercise is a yearly tradition that delivers supplies such as food, fishing equipment, school books, and clothes to remote islands in the Pacific. It is the longest-running Department of Defense humanitarian mission.