MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- Working alongside a counterpart creates an unbreakable bond, a positive relationship, and inspires creativity. The shared camaraderie between the U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon pilots and Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-2 pilots lent to demonstrating and ultimately enhancing their monthly bilateral dissimilar air combat tactics training, April 12.
Dissimilar air combat tactics operations provide a realistic application of fighter tactics and serve to develop a high level of tactical skills for all combat aircrews. The use of different air frames furthers the learning process.
The monthly training builds understanding and support between the two nations, instilling personal confidence and developing trust in their counterparts’ capabilities.
“DACT training is beneficial for a myriad of reasons,” explained U.S. Air Force Capt. Ty Perich, a 14th Fighter Squadron F-16 pilot. “Not only do you see how pilots from other air frames execute tactics, but practicing with an ally allows us and our counterparts to hone our skills.”
Showcasing their talents and abilities seemed to be a shared interest between both parties.
“The DACT training reinforces the skill sets between both the JASDF and U.S. Air Force,” said JASDF Capt. Chikara Kume, a 3rd Fighter Squadron F-2 pilot. “The knowledge and training we receive from operating together creates a stronger force and bond.”
Learning from other nations not only solidifies the friendship between the two but also lays the groundwork for security.
“Training with JASDF is important due to the U.S.-Japan security treaty being a foundation for safety in the Indo-Pacific region,” said Perich. “The bilateral training is beneficial because it demonstrates our ability to respond effectively and proficiently in any situation.”
While being successful and skillful during training was paramount, some found simply interacting together just as important.
“Just speaking English with U.S. Air Force members was a great experience,” explained Kume. “As Japan and U.S. forces align, it’s important we get to know each other.”
The two nations conduct DACT training monthly in order to improve their operational proficiency both on the ground and in the air. The routine training brings the allies closer as friends.