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Japanese Self Defense Force looks to Air University for enhanced model of enlisted development

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Greydon Furstenau
  • Air University Public Affairs

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala.-- The Japanese Self Defense Force’s senior enlisted member visited Air University, Oct. 18-19, 2022, to get a better understanding of how the Air Force develops, trains and educates its enlisted corps.

Warrant Officer Hideyuki Seki’s primary objective for the visit was to identify methods his country could possibly incorporate to enhance the development of its own enlisted force.

Seki is the Japanese Joint Staff’s senior enlisted adviser to the chairman of the JSDF. His visit marks the first time a JSDF senior enlisted member has been to AU.

“I was really impressed by the professional military education at AU. I hope that the U.S.-Japan Alliance and both noncommissioned officer corps will be developed much more in the future,” he said.

Seki learned how a U.S. civilian is transformed into a professional Airman and how this transformation continues throughout the Airman’s career.

“We have a strong enlisted corps, and we build upon the foundations set at Basic Military Training and place them on a continuum of growth and enhancement through our world-class professional military education,” said Chief Master Sgt Stefan Blazier, Air University command chief. "The desired outcome for all tiers of our enlisted force is to have the appropriate knowledge and understanding of our objectives as a nation, Department of Defense, and Air Force and for them to know how they plug into those objectives.”

Chief Master Sgt. Wendell Snider, the U.S. Forces Japan senior enlisted leader, escorted Seki on his visit to AU. 

“Seki’s visit to Air University is yet another shining example of the ironclad U.S.-Japan Alliance,” Snider said. “An alliance that will continue to deepen through sharing of information and lessons learned about Joint enlisted development.”

Seki’s itinerary included the Air Force’s core institutions of enlisted education and heritage: Thomas N. Barnes Center for Enlisted Education, Community College of the Air Force, Enlisted Heritage Hall, and Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy.

He met international enlisted instructors at SNCOA. The meeting opened a conversation with the possibility of more Japanese enlisted members coming to AU to expand their professional horizons, as well as share their perspectives with other enlisted members and international allies. They are looking to pursue potential JSDF enlisted members participation in the First Sergeant and Chief Leadership Academies, which would be a first. 

“This international instructor system is excellent. I hope that a Self Defense member can come here to become an international instructor in the future,” Seki said.