In 2003, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) deployed its transport units to support the multinational force operations in Afghanistan and Iraq – their first experience in long-term overseas deployment. What lessons did the JASDF learn from these experiences? Given the new 2010 National Defense Program Guidelines, what are the future challenges as the JASDF looks to its future? Col. Atsushi Hikita, who served in the JASDF mission in the Middle East, shares his perspective.
Col. Atsushi Hikita arrived at the Stimson Center as a visiting fellow of the Center’s East Asia Program in January 2011. He has served in various staff positions in the Air Staff Office, including the Defense Plans and Program Division and the Operation Division. He has also served in the 3rd Air Wing, as well as the 5th, 6th, and 7th Air Wings. Col. Hikita is a graduate of the National Defense University of Japan, as well as the US Air Force Air War College in Montgomery, Alabama.