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Luke | 56th FW shares experience with Japanese civic leaders

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Charis Bryan
  • 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz.-- The 56th Fighter Wing hosted Japanese civic leaders as part of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program on Aug. 2, 2023, at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona.

It is imperative to have a strong relationship between the community and the base.Lt. Col. Stanley Brown

Military bases can have unique impacts on their surrounding area due to the amount of service members, families, events, and capabilities that are necessary to accomplish the mission. The civic leaders discussed community engagement and communication practices that are employed by Luke Airmen.

“It is imperative to have a strong relationship between the community and the base,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Stanley Brown, 56th FW chief of staff. “A strong relationship aids in a successful mission. Luke AFB is very active in the community and we frequently invite the community to participate in our events as well.”

Luke AFB was one of a several U.S. government installations the group visited for the latest iteration of the IVLP’s short-term exchange program. Participants included Keisuke Satomura, Ginowan City Military Base Affairs Section subsection chief, Masashi Toguchi, Chaton Town mayor, Shintaro Yamaguchi, Fukuoka Head Office News Department staff writer, and Junya Yamamoto, Yokosuka Crisis Management Division staff.

Brown and 56th FW Community Initiatives Team personnel cited continued communication between base and community leaders as a best practice for community collaboration. By sharing ideas and involving both military and civilian personnel, Luke AFB and the West Valley have worked together across a spectrum of opportunities.

“We regularly host civic leaders and elected officials from the local community to keep open dialogues about mutual concerns or plans,” said Chris Toale, 56th FW CIT director. “We’re able to have a better understanding of how to manage, mitigate, or address shared issues. We’re able to grow with the local community and, when necessary, we’re prepared to respond to potential crisis together.”

In addition to holiday and educational events, Luke can also provide additional resources and capabilities in a time of crisis through mutual aid agreements. Most recently, firefighters assigned to the 56th Civil Engineer Squadron responded to a fire at the Glendale Municipal Landfill.

We’re able to grow with the local community and, when necessary, we’re prepared to respond to potential crisis together.Chris Toale

The participants also visited the 63rd Fighter Squadron to receive a capabilities brief on the F-35A Lightning II and tour of the flightline, deepening their current knowledge of U.S. Air Force operations.

Global Ties Arizona is the local implementing organization for the IVLP. The IVLP is the nation's premier professional exchange program that brings hundreds of international leaders to the United States each year to meet their counterparts, share best practices across industries, exchange ideas, and foster relations between the U.S. and other nations through citizen diplomacy.