TSUIKI AIR BASE, Japan -- The Pacific Air Forces' F-16 Fighting Falcon Demonstration Team from Misawa Air Base, Japan, performed at Tsuiki Air Base, Japan, Nov. 24 and 25, and Nyutabaru Air Base, Japan, Dec. 1 and 2, showcasing the power and maneuverability of the F-16 while promoting positive relations between the United States and nations across the Western Pacific.
Capt. Jacob Impellizzeri, the PACAF F-16 Demo Team commander, held his first solo Japanese performance at Tsuiki and Nyutabaru AB, since he joined the team back in May this year.
“We interacted with the fans to show what we stand for and build bilateral relationships, and attendees viewed our ground show performance,” explained Impellizzeri.
The team averages 20 shows a year at 12 locations across the Pacific, including Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand and the Republic of Korea. Not only did the team interact with spectators and the local community, they worked alongside their host nation counterparts during the show.
“It’s an awesome experience performing alongside our Japan Air Self-Defense Force partners while continuing to build those bilateral relationships,” Impellizzeri continued.
While upholding the host nation bond is the team’s favorite operation, for Staff Sgt. Mario Perez, a PACAF F-16 Demo Team avionics technician, he also enjoys the traveling aspect.
“I love the different interactions the team can make, going new places and seeing the impact we have in people’s lives,” Perez described. “I’ve learned various lessons from the crew chiefs, engines and the electrical personnel I work with. They are a group of very talented people.”
The team participates in performances across the Indo-Pacific all year with their next aerobatic show slated for India.
“When our fans enjoy the performance so much they want to take pictures and receive autographs from the team, it’s an incredible feeling,” said Impellizzeri. “We all love what we do, and the support of onlookers at the shows makes all of our work worthwhile.”