Farewell Jungle Air Force, Japan

Officials at Yokota AB, Japan, last week inactivated 13th Air Force’s Detachment 1 in an on-base ceremony, just days prior to the numbered air force’s own inactivation that’s scheduled for Oct. 1. The unit, which stood down on Sept. 26, served as 13th AF’s representation in Japan, coordinating air defense command and control with the host Japan Air Self Defense Force. Thirteenth Air Force is standing down as a result of an efficiency drive within Pacific Air Forces to reduce role duplication and overlapping command functions. Fifth Air Force headquarters, collocated at Yokota, is subsuming Det. 1’s personnel and coordinating functions, according to a Sept. 28 Yokota release. Det. 1 was instrumental in coordinating US and Japanese disaster response during Operation Tomodachi, following the severe earthquake and tsunami that devastated northern Japan in 2011 and during Keen Sword, the largest ever joint flying exercise with Japan, also in 2011, states the release. (Yokota report by Osakabe Yasuo)