JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- On March 21st a U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer conducted a bilateral mission in the vicinity of Japan with Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) F-15J Eagles, followed by a bilateral mission with Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) F-15K Slam Eagles and F-16s carried out in ROK airspace.
During the training mission, JASDF F-15J Eagles from Nyutabaru Air Base, Japan, and a B-1B Lancer deployed to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, as part of U.S. Pacific Command’s Continuous Bomber Presence Mission, conducted intercept and formation training.
The purpose of the training was to foster increased interoperability between JASDF and U.S. aircraft. Participating in bilateral training enables the operational units to improve their joint capabilities and tactical skills while also building bilateral confidence and strong working relationships.
“Bilateral cooperation with bomber aircraft, especially in the face of security challenges in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, is an outstanding demonstration of the U.S.’s commitment to our allies,” said Maj. Ryan Simpson, Pacific Air Forces bomber operations chief. “Our increased cooperation enables our combined forces to rapidly react to counter aggression against Japan and other allies and partners.”
Training engagements like these demonstrate the strength of the fellowship between Japanese and U.S. Airmen.
After the combined training with the JASDF, the bomber seamlessly transitioned to fly in the vicinity of the Republic of Korea where they conducted bilateral training with ROKAF F-15K Slam Eagles and F-16s, furthering the ROK-U.S. alliance.
“Working and training side-by-side our ROK partners increases our ability to integrate air operations more effectively in order to deter aggression in the region,” Simpson said. “As an added bonus, the ROK offers an excellent training environment for increasing the capability of our bomber crews.”
The B-1B’s rotational bomber presence allows U.S. forces to integrate with aerial platforms from our allied nations and take advantage of opportunities to advance and strengthen the long-standing military-to-military relationships in the Indo-Asia-Pacific.