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Col. Scott P. Goodwin, the new base commander of Yokota Air Base.

Col. Scott P. Goodwin, the new base commander of Yokota Air Base. (Jim Schulz / S&S)

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Col. Scott Goodwin said he plans to hang his inaugural foray into base leadership on three pillars: mission, people and community.

During his first interview as the 374th Airlift Wing commander Wednesday afternoon, he also said he’s reluctant to tamper with any of his predecessor’s orders, including the controversial 1 a.m. - 6 a.m. restriction of “Bar Row,” the entertainment district in nearby Fussa City.

Goodwin has been a squadron commander in Germany and group chief in the United States. Earlier Wednesday, he became the head of a wing for the first time in his 22-year career.

“I’m excited beyond belief,” he said. “This is a great wing, great community — filled with terrific people.”

His approach will be simple, Goodwin added.

“First ... we have to carry out our mission here in the Western Pacific, making sure we handle the tasks we have to do and working closely with our Japanese allies and our sister services,” he said.

Also, he said, “we have to take care of all our people — military as well as civilian, both U.S. and Japanese.”

The 1983 Air Force Academy graduate is a command pilot with more than 3,200 flying hours, including in the C-130, one of four aircraft types assigned to Yokota.

Goodwin said the personal challenges that lie ahead at Yokota — at least short term — are similar to those he’s faced elsewhere.

Once he settles in, preparing for February’s Operational Readiness Inspection by Pacific Air Forces will likely become a priority. But he said Yokota’s practice schedule for this year won’t be tweaked.

“The wing already has a strong exercise program in place,” he added.

Yokota’s participation in the Aerospace Expeditionary Force rotation also will continue, Goodwin said.

“We’ll keep preparing our airmen to meet the challenges of deployment — and at the same time, take care of the families while they’re away,” he said. “The AEF construct is the best tool we have of sharing and distributing the current operations tempo across our force.

And the “Bar Row” curfew?

“Col. Schissler lived here for two years. He saw and dealt with the problems,” Goodwin added. “I agree with his concerns and see no need to change that policy in the immediate future.”

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