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Seth Robson

Global Hawks from Guam land in Tokyo for summer stay

Unmanned RQ-4 Global Hawk surveillance drones began a summer rotation to the home of U.S. Forces Japan in western Tokyo on Saturday.

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Sasebo beer garden ends monthslong drought for military drinkers in Japan

Sailors at Sasebo Naval Base toasted each other in a makeshift, outdoor beer garden Friday and Saturday, marking a return to social drinking for troops in Japan after months of coronavirus restrictions.


US Army Japan greenlights limited social gatherings; on-post dine-in options to begin Monday

U.S. military bases in the Tokyo metro area remain under a public health emergency declared April 15 by U.S. Forces Japan.


Global Hawk surveillance drones will return to Tokyo to avoid Guam’s typhoon season

The Air Force is sending unmanned RQ-4 Global Hawks to Tokyo again this summer.


Two B-1B Lancers train with 16 Japanese fighter jets over Sea of Japan

“The U.S. steadfast commitment remains unchanged and integration missions are a way for the U.S. to demonstrate that commitment,” said 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron commander Lt. Col. Ryan Stallsworth.


China may be preparing for first dual-carrier drills in South China Sea, reports say

The Chinese carriers Liaoning and Shandong have been conducting combat readiness training in the Yellow Sea this month ahead of the deployment, the South China Morning Post reported Sunday.


Marines trim Australia rotational force to 1,200 Marines due to coronavirus

Fifty-four Marines who arrived in Darwin in an advance party in March have already gone through a 14-day quarantine and begun training with their Australian counterparts.


Air Force Ospreys and Super Hercs fly together over Tokyo during Samurai Surge drill

The Samurai Surge drill, which last took place in 2018, required coordination between the 353rd Special Operations Group out of Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, and Yokota’s 374th Operations Group.


VA disputes Yale-linked report, says no evidence Agent Orange was used on Guam

The Department of Veterans Affairs is pushing back against a recent report that says veterans who served on Guam between 1962 and 1975 were likely exposed to Agent Orange.


‘Murder hornets’ a common challenge for US military pest control workers in Japan

Exterminators at Yokota Air Base have responded to several Asian giant hornet sightings in recent weeks.


Agent Orange may have sickened Vietnam-era veterans on Guam, Yale-linked report says

Veterans who served on Guam between 1962 and 1975 may have valid claims to service-related disabilities as a result of exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides, according to a recent report.


USO’s online programs prove popular with troops during coronavirus lockdowns

“I think we are busier now than before the pandemic,” Yokota USO manager Mardie Marqueze-Velasquez said Wednesday. “We can’t reach them physically, but we have great teams across the globe of volunteers and staff.”


Disneyland and new tattoos: Troops dream of post-coronavirus freedom in Japan and South Korea

With coronavirus case numbers dropping and attractions reopening off base in Japan and South Korea, American service members can dare to dream of the freedom they enjoyed before the pandemic.


Coronavirus cases surge in Singapore, home to US Navy littoral combat ships and logistics hub

The new outbreak could affect 1,000 service members, civilians and their families in Singapore serving with Task Force 73 and Command Logistics Group Western Pacific.


Military seeks to learn lessons from coronavirus, just as it did during Asian Flu pandemic

According to experts, military forces are well placed to contain diseases because of their long history of pragmatic approaches to protecting troops from sexually transmitted diseases and other infections.


Some base exchange stores in Asia are allowing customers to buy more sanitizer products

Army and Air Force Exchange Service stores at Yokota Air Base and Osan Air Base, which had been limiting customers to one sanitizer item each, have raised the number of the products people can buy.


Marines restart annual Australia rotation paused by coronavirus pandemic

The Darwin force, which trains in Australia during the Northern Hemisphere summer, has built up slowly since an initial contingent of 250 Marines hit the beach there in 2012.


‘You can only watch so much Netflix’: Military leaders in Japan worry about troops’ mental health during pandemic

Most service members, their families and civilian employees attached to bases in Japan have adjusted to restricted movements — but leaders are concerned about potential impacts to mental health.


Navy’s multinational Rim of the Pacific drills are a go for this summer, but will be at-sea only

The world’s largest international naval exercise will go ahead in waters off Hawaii this summer, but participating forces will stay at sea during the drills due to concerns about the coronavirus.


Online sales boom for US military exchange stores amid coronavirus restrictions

“April’s [online] sales are currently 157% higher than this time last year,” Army and Air Force Exchange Service spokesman Chris Ward said in an email Tuesday.


Defense Department report reveals military occupations with highest suicide rates

The Department of Defense Suicide Event Report presents data collected by the services about suicides and suicide attempts among service members during the 2018 calendar year.


Air Force revives drive-in movies for service members isolating amid pandemic in Tokyo

Yokota Air Base’s drive-in movie echoes trends in Germany and South Korea, where outdoor screenings have had a resurgence during the coronavirus pandemic.


Coronavirus case numbers are dropping at bases in Japan, USFJ commander says

Coronavirus case numbers are falling at U.S. bases in Japan and shallowing outside the wire, the commander of U.S. Forces Japan told military community members during a virtual town hall Friday.


Ornamental cherry tree replaces Yokota cedars blown over by violent typhoon last year

“We decided to go for something that will be sustainable longer term and not create a hazard,” said Maj. Trent Bolte, the 374th Civil Engineer Squadron operations flight commander.


City near home of US Forces Japan confirms its first case of coronavirus

Fussa announced the case on its website but provided no further details. The city of 58,400 on the outskirts of Tokyo prefecture is one of several distinct urban areas that surround Yokota Air Base, the home of U.S. Forces Japan.


Alcohol sales at exchange stores surged by 50% in March, AAFES spokesman says

“Alcohol sales across the retail industry have understandably seen increases as bars and restaurants have closed and demand has shifted to at home consumption,” said an Army and Air Force Exchange Service spokesman.


Four Japanese workers test positive for coronavirus at US Army garrison near Tokyo

U.S. Army Japan has confirmed six coronavirus cases at Camp Zama in all, five Japanese workers and the dependent of a U.S. civilian worker.


Coronavirus no barrier to training for Air Force crews in Tokyo

Yokota airmen flew over the weekend and have conducted a variety of training in recent weeks — even as commanders have tightened restrictions on troop movements and required social distancing and facemasks in many facilities.


City near home of US Forces Japan has reported zero coronavirus cases — one of the few in Tokyo

A city bordering the home of U.S. Forces Japan in western Tokyo is among the few in a prefecture hard-hit by the coronavirus that has yet to report a resident infected by the disease.


USFJ commander expands public health emergency to all US bases in Japan

The commander of U.S. Forces Japan on Wednesday declared a public health emergency for all U.S. military installations in Japan, expanding an earlier order that covered only the area in and around Tokyo.


‘Elephant walk’ on Guam served as timely US airpower demonstration, defense expert says

With the USS Theodore Roosevelt sidelined nearby due to the coronavirus, the U.S. military on Guam exhibited a reminder of its deep bench this week.