Airmen from the US Air Force (USAF) and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) have conducted bilateral training at Chitose Air Base (AB) in Japan.

The training focused on enhancing the defensive skills required to support air operations and Agile Combat Employment (ACE) capabilities during the Chitose Aviation Training Relocation event.

JASDF was represented by 2nd Air Wing and 1st Tactical Airlift Group, 2nd Tactical Airlift Group and 3rd Tactical Airlift Group during the training.

Approximately 200 personnel with six F-15 Eagles from USAF’s 67th Fighter Squadron and six F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 13th Fighter Squadron, Pacific Air Forces Command’s 35th Fighter Wing, 374th Airlift Wing and 18th Wing participated in the training.

The airmen and aircraft relocated to Chitose AB for the exercise.

USAF 67th Fighter Squadron commander lieutenant colonel Craig Van Beusekom said: “This Chitose (AB) Aviation Training Relocation provided a tremendous opportunity for the 67th Fighter Squadron’s operations, maintenance and support personnel to practice and perfect ACE capabilities with our US Forces Japan and Koku-Jieitai partners.

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“Here at Chitose (AB), we demonstrated deployable, secure communications and empowered bilateral personnel to refuel a USAF F-15, F-16, and Koku-Jieitai F-15J Eagle aircraft with airlift-deployable fuel bladders.”

The training event, which was led by Fifth Air Force, also concentrated on creating multi-capable airmen (MCA) and tested the USAF and JASDF’s ability to collaborate and learn new skill sets.

MCA allows for efficient and quick response time to any possible threats.

USAF 13th Aircraft Maintenance Unit production superintendent Master Sergeant Stephen Morin said: “The MCA concept was implemented by utilising multiple career fields and merging them into performing each other’s duties.

“For instance, we had specialists, such as avionics, learning how to launch (aircraft) and then performing those actions, enabling us to free up other specialities to continue working on arising situations.”