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Yokota AB aids Space Systems Command in historic US-Japan space partnership

  • Published
  • By Tech Sgt. Taylor A. Workman
  • 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Yokota Air Base’s very own 374th Mission Support Group and hosted Air Mobility Command unit, the 730th Air Mobility Squadron, assisted the U.S. Space Force Space Systems Command to deliver the first of two payloads to be hosted on Japan’s Geo-based Quasi-Zenith Satellite System, Jan. 17.

The delivery marks a historic step in solidifying the U.S. government and government of Japan commitment to increase their partnership in space in alignment with both allies’ national space policies and recognize a common interest in ensuring space security.

"The 374th Airlift Wing and Air Mobility Command were integral in meeting U.S. commitments to integrated deterrence in partnership with Japan,” said Lt. Col. Brian Fredrickson, U.S. Space Force SSC QZSS-Hosted Payload program manager. “This delivery of the first spaceflight-ready payload represents an important milestone for the mission."

Contracting specialists from the 374th AW secured critical in-country security support contracts for the QZSS mission and logistics specialists were responsible for the physical delivery of the eight pallets of QZSS-Hosted Payload equipment. Together, the team received the payload and successfully transported it from Yokota AB to the Japanese partner facility.

“The real MVPs of this effort are the Contracting Squadron and Logistics Readiness Squadron,” said Lt. Col. Jennifer Malatesta, 374th MSG deputy commander. “The 374th MSG is honored to be a part of this historic bilateral effort in enhancing space domain awareness."

Malatesta added that it was very rewarding to see the culmination of months of planning and preparation executed successfully.

"This is an exciting and important mission," said 1st Lt. Joe Santiago, QZSS-HP’s Logistics and Security lead, adding that the delivery would not be possible without Space Force's partnership with Air Mobility Command to secure safe transit from Hanscom Air Force Base's 66th Air Base Wing in Massachusetts to Yokota Air Base's 374th Airlift Wing in Japan. "QZSS-HP's success depends on the contributions of a number of mission partners on the US side, including our partners at Yokota and Hanscom."

The payload delivery follows the historic Memorandum of Understanding signed two years ago between Japan's National Space Policy Secretariat and the U.S. Space Force.

As the payloads arrive in Japan, the SSC program will then begin the next stage of integration to the two QZSS host satellites and to prepare for launch, effectively unifying the two nations in space.