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Kadena hosts first America Fest since 2014

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jonathan R. Sifuentes
  • 18th Wing Public Affairs

The 18th Wing will open its gates to the public for the first time in over nine years — America Fest 2023 will take place April 22-23 from 2pm to 9pm. Gates are expected to open at noon for entry traffic on both days.

America Fest is an opportunity for the local community to meet U.S. service members, see advanced static aircraft up close, learn about the 18th Wing mission and experience American culture from the diverse people that serve at Kadena Air Base. 

“What we’re trying to do is showcase parts of the wing that aren’t just about aircraft,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Todd Tyler, 18th Operations Group deputy commander for heavy aircraft. “There’s a lot of people who have remarkable missions here, we want to inspire people and educate them on what we do.” 

America Fest will unveil Kadena’s first Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics Hangar; an exhibit hall full of hands-on experiences designed to inspire youth to learn more about STEM through demonstrations from units across Kadena.

“This is the first time that we’ve done this at America Fest,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Eric Cadorette, 18th Operations Group KC-135 weapons officer and branch chief of standards and evaluations. “I was stationed here in 2014 and we didn’t have anything like this, so I think this is a great opportunity to showcase our capability.”

America Fest will feature a variety of family friendly entertainment, activities and food.

“The 18th Force Support Squadron is dedicated to delivering the best service possible to all members of Team Kadena,” said Natalia E. Pollastrini, 18th FSS special event coordinator. “Guests can expect a full festival experience from FSS, complete with live entertainment, carnival rides, game vendors, and a plethora of local food truck options!”

Kadena Air Base aims to leave guests and local community members with a better understanding of our mission and the U.S. service members who serve alongside our Japanese allies in Okinawa. 

“America Fest is important because it demonstrates the professionalism of military members and the families assigned to Kadena Air Base,” Tyler said. “It strengthens ties with the local community because they get to come on base, see what we do, see not only that we’re regular people but that we’re hard working and educated.”