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AFSOC leaders visit the Pacific

People touring an aircraft hangar.

Air Force Special Operations Command leaders tour CV-22 Osprey facilities during a visit at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Jan. 9, 2019. U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Vince Becklund, deputy commander of AFSOC, received a mission overview of the 353rd SOG’s challenges and capabilities operating in the Indo-Asia-Pacific Theater. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Renee Douglas)

People observing an award presentation.

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Vince Becklund, deputy commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, awards Airmen from the 353rd Special Operations Group for their efforts during the Tham Luang Cave Rescue during a visit at Kadena Air Base, Japan, Jan. 11, 2019. Becklund received a mission overview of the 353rd SOG’s challenges and capabilities operating in the Indo-Asia-Pacific Theater. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Renee Douglas)

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan --

Maj. Gen. Vince Becklund, deputy commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, visited the 353rd Special Operations Group Jan. 9-11 for a closer look at the special operations mission in the Pacific.

The visit provided an opportunity for AFSOC leadership to interact with Airmen, receive mission briefs and gain perspective on key issues across the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command area of responsibility.

Maj. Gen. James Scanlan, mobilization assistant to the commander of AFSOC, and Ken Roy, AFSOC political advisor, accompanied Becklund for the visit.

They first stopped at Yokota Air Base, Japan, to visit the 353rd SOG Detachment 1, where the recently assigned CV-22 Osprey are settling into their new home. The group saw where the detachment is working and where the CV-22s are being kept and maintained.

After visiting Yokota, the group moved on to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan. There, they received an update on current operations and the rest of the squadrons assigned to the 353rd SOG. Before departing Kadena, Becklund gathered the 353rd SOG to award 48 Humanitarian Service Medals to members of the 353rd SOG involved in the Tham Luang Cave Rescue.

“The 353rd is strategically placed and has a vital role to play in keeping a free and open Pacific,” said Becklund. “Make no mistake; you are out here for a reason.”