The US Air Force’s (USAF) B-1B Lancer has conducted bilateral joint training with Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) F-2s and F-15s off the coast of northern Japan.

B-1B Lancer, which was assigned to the 37th Bomb Squadron, was launched from Ellsworth Air Force Base (AFB) and integrated with the Japan Air Self Defense Force for the bilateral and theatre familiarisation training.

The B-1 aircrew flew the nearly 29-hour, round-trip sortie to the Indo-Pacific.

As part of joint US Indo-Pacific Command and US Strategic Command Bomber Task Force mission, the aircrew collaborated with six USAF F-16 Fighting Falcons, seven JASDF F-2s and eight JASDF F-15s over the Draughon Range.

37th BS commander Lieutenant Colonel Lincoln Coleman said: “This was a higher-headquarters directed operational mission to assure our allies, and deter adversaries while demonstrating the dynamic force employment model.

“This was a total team effort involving every group on base that provided us with the opportunity to integrate with multiple air operations centres in different areas of responsibility.”

The USAF transitioned its force-employment model to enable strategic bombers to operate within the Indo-Pacific region.

US Air Force Global Strike Command and Air Forces-Strategic commander Timothy Ray said: “The rapid employment of airpower directly supports the National Defense Strategy and assures we can provide overwhelming force anywhere, anytime in support of American interests or our Allies and partners.

“This mission is a demonstration to our friends throughout the region: we will continue to remain fully predictable in our commitment to ensuring peace, while also demonstrating that we have the ability to operate from numerous locations across the globe, even during the global pandemic.”

The operation will demonstrate the capability of the B-1 and its aircrews.