New USJF Commander: US-Japan alliance the cornerstone of stability in Indo-Pacific

Lt. Gen. Kevin Schneider relieved Lt. Gen. Jerry Martinez as commander of US Forces Japan on Tuesday, Feb. 5

File photo, Nov. 2017: Lt. Gen. Schneider greets Pres. Trump at USPACOM

File photo, Nov. 2017: Lt. Gen. Schneider greets Pres. Trump at USPACOM (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The new commander of United States forces in Japan, Lt. Gen. Kevin Schneider, took his post on Tuesday, Feb. 5 at a ceremony in Tokyo, which was also attended by the head of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, Admiral Philip Davidson.

Speaking as the commander of U.S. Forces Japan (USFJ) and the Fifth Air Force, Schneider recognized the “increasingly difficult security challenges” faced by the U.S-Japan alliance, which he referred to as “the cornerstone of stability and security in the Indo-Pacific."

Schneider has emphasized the need for improved combat readiness, and high-level training exercises to ensure that U.S. forces in the region are prepared to confront potentially well-trained adversaries. He was quoted by the Stars and Stripes.

“Because of the clear threats to peace and security in this region, we must maintain the highest levels of readiness to respond at a moment’s notice to any threat, to any crisis, to any humanitarian disaster.”

According to the Japan Times, Schneider commands around 54,000 U.S. troops and will also work closely with the commanders of Japan’s own Self Defense Forces.

Schneider previously served as the chief of staff of the Indo-Pacific Command, working directly under Admiral Davidson for the last nine months before his appointment as USFJ commander.

Schneider relieved Lt. Gen. Jerry Martinez from command at the ceremony in Western Tokyo,Tuesday. Martinez is retiring from the military after 33 years of service, and two years as the USFJ Commander, reports Stars and Stripes.