CHITOSE AIR BASE, Japan —
Nearly 95 personnel and six F-16 Fighting Falcons from Misawa Air Base, Japan, traveled here to participate in an April 23-27 training exercise.
Misawa-based F-16s, Yokota Air Base-based C-130J Super Hercules aircraft and Japan Air Self-Defense Force-piloted F-15 Eagle jets participated in the exercise.
The exercise was conducted to hone U.S.-Japanese military interoperability, officials said.
“I’m excited to be here and to have the opportunity to work with the Japanese,” said Air Force Capt. Joshua Lemair, a 13th Fighter Squadron F-16 instructor pilot. “I had a great time flying with the JASDF while these sorties helped both countries improve throughout the week.”
U.S.-Japanese Military Interoperability
Throughout the exercise, U.S. Air Force and JASDF members worked together and conducted daily flight sorties, which included offensive and defensive aerial operations.
The 35th Maintenance Group, 35th Operations Group, 35th Security Forces Squadron, 35th Logistics Readiness Squadron and the 35th Medical Group participated in the exercise.
“I feel honored to be a part of this training mission,” said Air Force Staff Sgt. Craig Piazza, a 35th SFS base defense operations controller.
He added, “Having our guys out here working together is a good opportunity to network and strengthen our ties among Misawa airmen and our [Japanese] counterparts.”
For more than 50 years, the U.S.-Japan security alliance has served as the cornerstone of peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region. The Chitose exercise is an example of the strong bonds the two nations share in their partnership.
“This operation is significant because it’s critical to mission safety,” Lemair explained. “It contributes to strengthening our relationships, as well as building mutual trust between the U.S. and Japan alliance. If we ever have to work with any other units in any kind of contingency scenario, we’d be able to quickly pick up where we left off in training and be ready.”