NEWS | March 9, 2018

Navy Super Hornets Leave Nest, Soar Skies with Air Force Falcons

By Staff Sgt. Deana Heitzman 35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- Several U.S. Navy F/A-18E Super Hornets, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 115 from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, honed joint-integration tactics with Misawa Air Base’s F-16 Fighting Falcons across Northern Japan skies, Feb. 28.

Falcon and Super Hornet pilots worked together to rapidly plan, execute and debrief a defensive counter air (DCA) sortie, combining both services' expertise in multirole aircrafts.

“Integrating with the F/A-18s for training proved to be a valuable experience for both the 13th Fighter Squadron and the VFA-115,” said Capt. David Neville, a 13th FS F-16 pilot.

DCA consists of “blue” defensive and “red” attacking air forces simulating real-world adversary tactics. During this flight, the F-16s played the blue force while F/A-18Es engaged as the red forces.

“This experience enhanced joint-integration with U.S. Air Force assets,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Matthew Warshaw, a VFA-115 F/A-18E pilot. “We, as a squadron, have never been here to fly with the 13th FS F-16 pilots and were really excited to do so. We intend to fly more sorties with the Air Force in the future.”

VFA-115 recently relocated to MCAS Iwakuni from Naval Air Facility Atsugi in November 2017, which has improved integration opportunities with U.S. Marine Corps and Pacific Air Forces aviation units.

“This training provided the opportunity to learn with the Navy and share ideas to increase our tactical prowess in a joint atmosphere,” concluded Neville.