USAF and JGSDF members conduct exercise Airborne 21

15 March 2021 (Last Updated March 15th, 2021 16:38)

The US Air Force (USAF) and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) have participated in exercise Airborne 21 at Yokota Air Base.

USAF and JGSDF members conduct exercise Airborne 21
The exercise involved nearly 500 JGSDF paratroopers, 12 C-130s and 134 containment delivery system bundles. Credit: USAF / Senior Airman Hannah Bean.

The US Air Force (USAF) and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) have participated in exercise Airborne 21 at Yokota Air Base.

The exercise saw the participation of 12 C-130J Super Hercules aircraft assigned to the USAF 36th Airlift Squadron (AS) and 500 members from JGSDF 1st Airborne Brigade. 374th Airlift Wing supported the JGSDF.

USAF 374th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron operations officer major David Perkins said: “This was not an overnight effort; to generate more than 80% of Yokota’s C-130J fleet required months of extensively planned logistics for the aircraft to be available, as well as planning and orchestration of the aircraft parking plan, and proper resourcing of aircraft configurations in order to make the mission happen.”

The members conducted static-line personnel jump and cargo drop of 134 containment delivery system (CDS) bundles.

It also involved an air assault at the Combined Arms Training Center Camp Fuji drop zone.

The 36th Airlift Squadron (AS) loadmasters ensured the cargo was secured for airdrop.

USAF 36th AS pilot and Airborne 21 mission commander captain Christopher Espinosa said: “The main purpose of this operation was to demonstrate the JGSDF’s capability to employ airborne insertion anywhere in the country of Japan.

“It was a great training opportunity to take lessons learned and how we can advance in our training in the future and also it was an effective example of a deterrent to some of our peer adversaries.”

Last month, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) Air Defense Division and the US European Command (USEUCOM) concluded exercise Juniper Falcon 2021.