The US Air Force has trained 20 Japanese Air Self Defence Force (JASDF) pilots in air refuelling techniques in day and night operations.

The trained JASDF F-15 pilots from Naha and Hyakuri air bases will participate in a Red Flag Alaska exercise in June at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, following the training.

Red Flag Alaska will involve several aircraft undertaking complex missions and provide the US and coalition forces with an opportunity to train together and improve readiness for wartime missions.

Before participating in the exercise, each pilot will have to complete at least two daytime and two night-time air refuelling flights and complete several hours of classroom work.

It will enable JASDF pilots to complete the long flight to Alaska without stopping and will extend their sorties at Red Flag to maximise their participation.

Training was carried out by air force pilots from Kadena, Tyndall and Yokota Air Force Bases in Japan.