CSAF to Pacific partners: 'We must be better together' Published Aug. 29, 2013 MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan (AFNS) -- As part of his two-week tour of the Pacific, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III met with military partners in Korea and Japan Aug. 23 to 28 to discuss opportunities and challenges in the region. “Partnerships become more important when resources are limited,” Welsh said. “We must be better together. Our partnerships in this region have gotten stronger and stronger over the last few years. It will only continue to get better due to the amount of respect we share for each other, which will serve as a springboard for better activity going forward. My overall impression of our time together is that our relationship is strong.” Among the many partners he met with were Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera; Gen. Shigeru Iwasaki, chief of joint staff for the Japan Self Defense Forces; Gen. Harukazu Saitoh, Japan Air Self-Defense Force chief of staff; and Gen. Sung Il-Hwan, Republic of Korea Air Force chief of staff. Welsh also visited the Japanese Air Defense Command to see firsthand the bilateral command and control functions operating at Yokota, and the Northern Air Defense Force leadership at Misawa. Among the topics of discussion were mutual security challenges and plans to further strengthen the cooperation between the respective air forces wherever possible, like continued participation in exercises like Red Flag.